'In Flanders Fields the Poppies Blow' But Will They Grace Your Lapel?

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.
                   -- Canadian John McRae, May 3, 1915

The poppy has become a lightning rod for nationalist politics in Ireland through the decades after the Armistice ended 'The Great War' -- at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Emblematic of mourning for those who died in the war, poppies -- everpresent in British ceremonies marking the war -- were typically eschewed in Ireland. They were, in many minds, a display of solidarity with those countrymen who served Ireland's oppressor. That view was far from universal, though fear of criiticism undoubtedly kept many Irish from displaying the poppy emblem. So we ask, will you be wearing a poppy this Remembrance Day weekend?

Check out The Wild Geese's coverage of Remembrance Day / Veteran's Day


Tags: 20th Century Ireland, Australia, Britain, Canada, Discussions, Events, New, News, War, World War 1, More…Zealand

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Yes the poppy was used in the US and Canada as a flower of rememberance.It is also interesting to note that one of the worlds largest republics, which like Ireland who have had conflict with Great Britain in their struggle for independance, use the poppy for the wreaths they lay at the Great War (WW1 for our American cousins) and World War 2 memorials. That place is the Republic of India, who was the second country of the Empire to gain its independance. Other countries adopted  flowers for rememberence at the end of the Great War Framce uses the Blue Cornflower, Germany uses the Forget-me-Not (Germany's rememberence day is this weekend), and Belgium uses the Poppy too, after all 'its in Flanders Fields were the poppy grows'. The flowers are usually made of paper, or cloth some wear brooches. In Britain there is a small movement of pacists who indtroduced a white poppy. None of these flowers, In all these countries are worn to glorifiy war or as sign of triumphalism they are simiply a sign of rememberance. I think the real problem is that the poppy was drawen into a political campaign in Ireland.. It is sad in this day and age the pepole at the theatre have given in to the blackmail of the threat of violence, is this not what our forces today are fighting againest, the scourage of intolerance. As a historical footnote on the Irish cops comment. During the Easter Rebellion an English officer said to a member of the Royal Irish Regiment (many of the British units in Dublin were actually Irish),' will you have a problem shooting at those fellows' , 'no sirr was the reply if they bloody well shoot at us w'll bloody well shoot back'. Sadly Irishmen, as we know from the American Civil War and more recent events have no problem shooting each other. Hopefully those days are now behind us and we can repect each others traditions.

Always in memory of my Father who fought in WWII in India, Burma and China.


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