Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Flanders Fields

Nov 11th is Veterans Day (Remembrance Day in the rest of the English Speaking World) commemorating the Armistice which ended the hostilities of World War I on November 11th, 1918 ("on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month the guns in France fell silent").

The events and horrible human toll of WWI were commemorated in a poem by John McCrae:

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Take a moment to remember the fallen. Express appreciation for the work and sacrifices of veterans. Events will be held at Arlington National Cemetery on Nov 11. The Alexandria Campus will sponsor several events on Nov 12th.

Or read up on WWI with one of these books:

The First World War: A Very Short Introduction. D521 H645 2008

Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour: Armistice Day, 1918, World War I and its Violent Conclusion. D523 P44 2004

(and if you're wondering what the deal with the "red flower" is, check out the Poppy Appeal).

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