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Lest We Forget

November 11 is Veterans Day. It is the day we honor all those who have served and who continue to serve in defense of our lives and liberty. But this is not just an American observance.

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 was when World War I was ended by the signing of an armistice (truce). November 11th is recognized in many countries under various monikers: Armistice Day, Remembrance Day, Veterans Day. The sentiment is the same. We honor veterans.

The poppy became a symbol for Remembrance Day, especially in British Commonwealth countries, but also in the United States. On this Veterans Day we share a poem penned during World War I by a Canadian soldier.

In Flanders Fields
John McCrae (1872 – 1918)

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
Scare 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.

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