Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day or Armistice Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month," in accordance with the Armistice, signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente between 5:12 and 5:20 that morning. (“At the 11th hour” refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 am.) When my mother was a school girl, heads were bowed on their desks for a moment of silence at 11:00 AM.
The poem “In Flanders Fields” was written on May 3, 1915 after John McCrae witnessed the death, and presided over the funeral, of a friend, Lt. Alexis Helmer during World War I. (Video below with music plus the poem)
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.
This image appears on the calendar, For Every Month ~ a Flower (click to view)
Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT, Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18-55mm, F/5.6, 1/500 sec, ISO 200.
Location: western Massachusetts (USA).
Season: spring, June 8th.
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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.
The poppies referred to in the poem grew in profusion in Flanders in the disturbed earth of the battlefields and cemeteries where war casualties were buried, and thus became a symbol of Remembrance Day in Allied countries which contributed troops to World War I. (Wikipedia)