Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembrance Day

by Julie Coulter Bellon

All over Canada today, citizens will be wearing poppies in observance of Remembrance Day. As a schoolgirl I remember wearing the poppy, trying to pin it on properly so it wouldn’t fall off during the day as we attended assemblies that taught us about those who had sacrificed everything to serve their country. Inevitably, there would always be a moment of silence and I would think about my grandfather, a veteran of the Korean war, and how proud I was that he had served his country honorably. After the moment of silence, we would all recite the poem, In Flanders Fields. That poem has stuck with me through all these years because of the graphic imagery.

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.

The first verse describes Flanders fields where, during and after World War I, the red poppies bloomed across those battlefields where so many lost their lives---the red color becoming symbolic of the blood spilled there.

I always get weepy at the second verse. For some reason, just thinking about how young and alive those soldiers were, and how someone loved them and they loved them back, and now they are gone, makes my heart ache. Being a soldier affects so many people—mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, children, even society feels the loss of those who give their lives for freedom.

The third verse passes the torch on to all of us, to do our best to protect freedom for ourselves and those around us. To support those who are on the front lines of this fight and to always remember those who have gone before.

So on this Remembrance Day for my Canadian friends, and Veterans Day for my American friends, I am going to look at my poppy and take a moment of silence to remember those who have fought a valiant fight. I am going to pray for the safety of those who are continuing on with that battle. And I’m going to teach my children about honor and patriotism and what it means to defend it, especially in this day and age.

Will you join me?


At 11/11/2010 12:34 PM, Blogger Anna Buttimore said...

I'm with you. It's Rememberance Day here too, and I shall wear my poppy with pride. On Sunday during Sacrament meeting we always have a two minute silence at 11 a.m. to pray for the fallen and those who are still fighting for our safe and free future.

At 11/11/2010 2:27 PM, Blogger Charlie Moore said...

I am also with you, Julie. Each year this day draws me to my father (RIP)who served with honor in Korea years ago. To every man or woman serving today in the US or in Canada you have my undying respect and faithful support.

Charlie Moore, Veteran

At 11/11/2010 3:26 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Beautiful, Julie. Thank you so much for this reminder.

At 11/12/2010 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brought tears to my eyes as I saw the pictures you painted with your beautiful wordsmithing - Thank you for sharing your talent with us!!


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