Remembering ANZACs

Flanders poppies

Originally uploaded by Miss Sonia.

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.

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae (1872-1918)

I remember studying this poem when in school – I’m sure we all have. I got to see it in the Flanders museum in Ypres while I was in Belgium. Sadly, as I was part of a British Womens Group tour, I did not get to stay for the 8pm playing of the last post at the Menin Gate, nor did we ever make it back there for ANZAC day. I will remember however, thanks to the amazing museum there, the stories of the people living in the area, the soldiers who fell. I will also remember how amzing this little town is…. having nearly destroyed it, the British took it upon themselves to fix it back up with every brick being put back exactly how it had been.

The other thing I will remember from my visit is finding the NZ names on the gate. And the wreathes and the poppies that had been laid there for a recent service. A very moving place – one I am very glad to have gotten to, and to really let the realities of what happened there hit home.

Lest we forget.

Thanks to MissSonia who originally loaded this photo to flickr


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