Lieutenant John McRae was a Canadian poet, author, artist, and soldier. During the Battle of Ypres in Belgium, during World War 1, he served as a battlefield surgeon. He wrote “In Flander’s Field” following the death of his twenty-two year old friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, who was killed by artillery fire and buried in a makeshift grave in a Flanders, Belgium poppy field.
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 Flander's fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hand we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who those who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.
- John McCrae
In honour and memory of all who have served, far from home and loved ones, to protect our lives, our families, our homes, and our freedom. In honour and memory of those who paid the ultimate price – those who gave their lives and those who mourned their loss.