“In May 1915, Canadian military doctor, Maj. John M. McCrae, composed the poem In Flanders Fields after treating victims of a German chemical attack in Belgium,” as NPR reminds us. “It inspired the use of red poppies as a symbol of Veterans Day for many years in the U.S., and they’re still used in Great Britain.
“This seems like a good moment to recall McCrae’s words:
“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.”