Commemorating Memorial Day

In Flanders Fields: The World's Most Famous War Memorial Poem

Many of our fellow Fort friends are service veterans and knew people that made the ‘supreme sacrifice’.   We should remember and honor all those that have sacrificed their lives so that our country continues to be the beacon of freedom and opportunity.

It is altogether fitting and proper that we should take a few moments to pay homage to all those men and women who have sacrificed their ‘tomorrows for our todays.’

Many of our older Friends are familiar with IN FLANDERS FIELDS; the World’s Most Famous War Memorial Poem by Lieutenant Col, John McCrae, Canadian Medical Corps.

On May 2, 1915, John McCrae’s close friend and former student Alexis Helmer was killed by a German shell. That evening, in the absence of a Chaplain, John McCrae recited from memory a few passages from the Church of England’s “Order of the Burial of the Dead”. For security reasons Helmer’s burial in Essex Farm Cemetery was performed in complete darkness.

The next day, May 3, 1915, Sergeant-Major Cyril Allinson was delivering mail. McCrae was sitting at the back of an ambulance parked near the dressing station beside the Yser Canal, just a few hundred yards north of Ypres, Belgium.   He was the first person to ever read the poem and remarked, “The poem was an exact description of the scene in front of us both. He used the word blow in that line because the poppies actually were being blown that morning by a gentle east wind.”

On 29 September 1920, the National American Legion convened in Cleveland. The Convention agreed on the use of the Flanders Fields Memorial Poppy as the United States’ National emblem of Remembrance.

We invite you to read and contemplate the message of ‘In Flanders Fields’.

 If you want to hear a YouTube recitation of the Poem by Sir John Gielgud click HERE



 the World’s Most Famous War Memorial Poem

by Lieutenant Col, John McCrae,

Canadian Medical Corps

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.