Tag Archives: Poppies

Poppy Day 2014

We like to present some photo’s from Remembrance Sunday of the poppies at The Tower of London, reminding that the poppy has been a symbol of remembrance in Britain since World War I. For them it reminds of death while in Belgium it reminds us of life. We can imagine those on the battle field, seeing all the dirty water and brown earth full of corpses, and then at spring those beautiful flowers coming up and giving a sign of life on that earth of dead.

When a poem from the era recalled the fragile flower melding with the dead in Flanders, Queen Elizabeth II observed the two-minute silence privately at the English ceremony.

The last few days several remembrance ceremonies also took place in Belgium in the medieval town of Ypres, where the buglers of the Last Post under the Menin Gate played their haunting tribute to the dead, but also in the cities of Liege, Mons and Leuven, were leaders from all over the world paid their tribute for the fallen.

Ever since the start of the centenary in August, the buglers at the massive gate have drawn large crowds of tourists and pilgrims. The gate’s vaulted ceiling lists the names of more than 54,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers who lost their lives during World War I and have no known grave.

Artificial "remembrance poppies" at ...

Artificial “remembrance poppies” at a war memorial in Ypres, Belgium (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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  • tower of london ceramic poppies (onenewspage.us)
    As the United Kingdom commemorates the lives of servicemen who paid the ultimate price in the Great War, the final poppy representing a fallen soldier was laid. In all, volunteers put in countless man hours to lay […]
  • Tower of London’s stunning poppy installation creates national sensation (washingtonpost.com)
    The poppy exhibition at the Tower of London has become a national sensation, with some 4 million people expected to have seen it by the time the last of the 888,246 poppies — one for every Commonwealth soldier who died in the First World War — is planted on Nov. 11, the day the war ended in 1918. The throngs of onlookers were so thick this past weekend that organizers asked visitors to postpone their trip.While the Great War is not on the minds of many Americans, here it remains profoundly relevant. The government has pledged $80 million for four years of events to commemorate the centenary. There have already been numerous official and non-official events — new books, plays, museum exhibitions, a massive “lights out” event — but the popularity of the “Blood Swept Lands And Seas of Red” poppy installation stands out.
  • Army Cadet honoured by laying final poppy at Tower of London on Armistice Day (telegraph.co.uk)
    French President Francois Hollande laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier under Paris’ Arc de Triomphe. Later, he will head to northern France to inaugurate an international war memorial at Notre-Dame-de-Lorette in the presence of German, British and Belgian officials. The Ring of Memory carries the names of 600,000 soldiers who died in the region during the war. Names are listed alphabetically without their nationalities.
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    In Britain, thousands gathered at the Tower of London, where a blood-red sea of ceramic poppies has spilled into the moat as part of an art installation paying tribute to soldiers killed in the fighting.
    A 13-year-old army cadet, Harry Hayes, planted the final poppy – the last of the 888,246 glass flowers – one for each of the British and Commonwealth soldiers killed in the war. Among the dead was Hayes’ great-great-great uncle, Pvt. Patrick Kelly of the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards.”It is an amazing honor,” Hayes told Sky News. “Seeing all these poppies and I managed to plant the last one.”
  • New First World War memorial unveiled in France remembers those who perished on both sides (ww1.canada.com)
    The morning sun picks out and burnishes hundreds of thousands of names engraved on an ellipse of tall and regimented golden metal sheets. It rises to salute the Asbachs and Behrens, Bartons and Beastons, the Adolfs and Alfreds, Roberts and Johns, the Georges and the Jean-Baptistes slaughtered in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais during the Great War.They are all remembered in the compelling new International Memorial of Notre Dame de Lorette, a “Ring of Remembrance” at Ablain-Saint-Nazaire north-west of Arras.

    Among so many German, French and British names, my fingers trace that of Gabar Sing Negi VC, 21, of the 2/39th Garwhal Rifles. Born and raised in sight of the Himalayas, he died 6,400 kilometres from home in what soldiers on all sides called the “cemetery” of Flanders and the Artois, and news reporters as “Hell in the North”.
    French chief of staff General Benoit Puga walks along the Memorial, Tuesday Nov. 11, 2014, during the inauguration of the International Memorial of Notre Dame de Lorette, where the names of the 580,000 soldiers who died in northern France during WW1 are listed alphabetically without nationality or rank. The First World War military cemetery of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette is located in Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, northern France. Francois Hollande hosted German and British officials for Armistice Day events in Paris and northern France, as Europe marks the centenary of the First World War with an emphasis on unity and cooperation.

  • 100 Years: Armistice Day in London (annecarolinedrake.com)
    Because it is difficult for most of us to wrap our heads around the millions of people who died during WWI, set designer Tom Piper created Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red.  Ceramic artist Paul Cummin and legions of volunteers created 888,246 hand-made, individualized poppies to serve as tribute to each British Commonwealth soldier who died during WWI.Spill of poppies from the Tower of London

     

Echoes of the Past

Photos’s from our visit last Sunday of the poppies at The Tower of London.  The fade photo of the young man with his brother is James Martin, my uncle who died in WW2 in Holland just before the end of the war, it was his 21st birthday.  This is the only photograph there is of this brave young man and he was my mothers big brother, whom she loved dearly.  The photo of his headstone was taken in Holland some 40 years ago, I have visited his grave twice and what was lovely is that families in Holland used to look after a grave of a soldier.  I’m not sure if this happens anymore, but it was wonderful being taken by the family to see the grave.

The other photos of a WW1 solider is my Mother’s father, also James Martin, he survived the war, but was shot in the…

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by | 2014/11/13 · 5:28 pm

In Flanders Fields II – a new poem in response to the original

Each year in Europe first they have November 1 and 2 and then 11 when suddenly graves have to be cleaned , flowers to be put on the graves and services are held to remember the deceased.

November the 11th takes a special place because then not only the dead are remembered but also those who nearly lost their life or those whose life came to a standstill or got broken for ever, though not many are conscious about that damage done in the deepest of their heart.

On Remembrance Day or Armistice day we want to remember that war came to an end, but many forget war is still going on in many countries. Many families all over the world are torn by grief. A never ending sorrow has come over humanity.

100 years after the beginning of the Great War we should seriously reconsider how we want to solve the world problems and would seriously work for getting peace to be something everybody in the world can share.

Who we take the time to reflect on the cost of our freedom is around that time the issue of the day, but for the rest of the year, we largely take that freedom for granted.

Bryan Ens reacted on the current situation with the original poem, by penned by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae in 1915 the day following the death of his friend, Alexis Helmer, in his mind.

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Preceding articles:

Reflections on the Great War #1 100 years on

Reflections on the Great War #2

On Veteran’s Day

Janice Brittain’s music version of In Flanders fields

On the 11th hour…

Remembrance isn’t only about those who fought, but also those who refused

Too Young To Fight?

Royal British Legion poppy

Royal British Legion poppy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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  • Soldiers’ real stories are the best defence against Remembrance Day conditioning | Paul Daley (theguardian.com)
    This year, yet again, the keepers of our national myths will tell us that the soldiers of the “Great War” have passed from life into our collective memory.Some of us knew a first world war soldier. But, a century after the war began, for most of us who’ll stop today to mark a minute’s silence for Remembrance Day, the soldiers of the first world war long ago passed into – or always have been part of – our imaginations rather than our memories.

    Good men, all, and brave too, we have long been assured, were those who were “lost” to the war. The fog of hindsight has inaccurately rendered them a rarefied, almost saintly, generation, whose terrible experiences have become cloaked in benign euphemism and cliché.

  • Remembrance Day (wattlerangenow.com.au)
    From a population of under five million; 417,000 enlisted, 332,000 served overseas, 152,000 were wounded and 61,000 never came home.
    It was sacrifice on a stupendous scale.
    After the Armistice, we vowed never to forget and today, we renew that vow.
  • Palmer dismisses Lambie over Remembrance Day Coalition snub (sbs.com.au)
    The Tasmanian Senator has urged the public to turn their backs on any Coalition politicians speaking at Remembrance Day commemorations, as a protest against a wage offer made to Australian Defence Force members.”This Remembrance Day I invite all Australians, including our Veterans, to turn their backs on Government members if they are silly enough to give speeches, pretending that they care for our military families,” she said.

    “Their actions regarding defence pay clearly show that they don’t care or they are cowards.”

  • Final Tower of London poppy ‘planted’ on Armistice Day (onenewspage.us) (video)
    A young army cadet lays the final poppy at the Tower of London as Britain marks an especially poignant Armistice Day, 100 years since the start of the First World War.
  • Jessica Murphy – DC honours Great War, Remembrance Day (sunnewsnetwork.ca)
    The brainchild of the British Embassy in the U.S. capital, a Sunday service to commemorate Remembrance Day at the Washington National Cathedral brought together countries on both sides of the First World War.”On the centennial it seemed appropriate to try to do it on a bigger canvas and bring in as many and to involve as many of the nations who had a key role in the war as possible,” said British Major General Buster Howes.

    “As much as anything it’s in the spirit of reconciliation, those who fought in 1914 are now, largely speaking, allies and friends.”

  • Former PM Howard to mark Remembrance Day (news.com.au)
    Liberal MP Sharman Stone, whose Victorian electorate of Murray had six Victoria Cross recipients in WWI, has encouraged people to pause at 11am and remember those who suffered or died during wars. “It is just as important to think about those who are serving our country overseas now. We still have troops in Afghanistan who are helping the Afghan army and we have troops on advise-and-assist roles in Iraq,” she said.
  • Remembrance Day across Quebec (cbc.ca)
    “I’m glad to see so many people turn out,” said Jason MacCallum, a former military reservist. “I think it’s the largest crowd I’ve seen in years actually out today.”In St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, about 1,500 soldiers and observers took part in an emotional commemoration.
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    More than 650,000 men and women from Canada and Newfoundland served in the war.

    Approximately 66,000 died and 172,000 were wounded.

  • Lest We Forget (collinesblog.com)
    During my first year in in the city, I never understood why people wore red flowers on the lapels of their coats. It was only after a few years that I came to understand. The moment of understanding was definitely the case of children teaching the adult: my children were able to explain to me why they came home bringing the imitations of the red flowers with them as they had been taught the reasons at school.
  • Australia Marks 96th Anniversary Of The End Of World War One (realnewsone.com)
    When the Great War started Australia had a population of under five million. 417,000 Australians enlisted, 332,000 served overseas, 152,000 were wounded and 61,000 never came home.
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    In related news Clive Palmer has criticised Jackie Lambie for wanting to use Remembrance Day as a political protest against the Government for the appalling wage offer and stripping back of the army’s conditions. Mr Palmer has said “All Australians, particularly politicians, should show the utmost respect on RemembranceDay. It is never a day for political actions”
  • Remembrance Day (edwardbrainblog.wordpress.com)
    If you are grateful for the freedoms we enjoy in Canada, thank a veteran.
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    Canada remembers the sacrifices of all our military personnel, especially those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.  Your duty and sacrifice will not be forgotten.
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  • In Flanders Fields II – a new poem in response to the original
    One of the great poems. We honor the great Poets by reading their words.
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    A Sergeant Joyce Kilmer poem and one of my poems.

Quest for Whirled Peas

In Flanders Fields by John McCrae
Is heard on each Remembrance Day
And on that day, with heads bowed low
We think of those who fought the foe
“We will remember”, we all say

Yet in that pose, we do not stay
And soon enough we walk away
To let forgotten poppies blow
In Flanders Fields

Those young men died, so that today
In freedom we can work and play
They paid a hefty price, and so
Let’s not forget the debt we owe
To those who will forever stay
In Flanders Fields

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The original poem, by penned by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae in 1915 the day following the death of his friend, Alexis Helmer.

In Canada, his poem is read at Remembrance Day services (November 11) each year.  My poem was written in response to the fact that for one day out of each year, we take the…

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Janice Brittain’s music version of In Flanders fields

Page 1 of the introduction from a limited edit...

Page 1 of the introduction from a limited edition book containing an illustrated poem, In Flanders Fields, 1921 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A beautiful poem by John McCrae, set to an original musical composition Janice Brittain wrote in 2013 and re-recorded this year for the 100th year anniversary of WWI.

 


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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 fieldsLieutenant Colonel John McCrae*

 

For many English speaking countries poppies are a sign for death, but in Flanders the poppy is a sign of conquering life.
When the grass, weeds or flowers are taken away from a place the first thing which seems to come up and give colour again on the land is the poppy. Out of the gruesomeness it is there to give a nice vivid colour giving hope for what still shall come and giving proof that life is stronger than everything that wants to silence it.

Wreaths of artificial poppies used as a symbol...

Wreaths of artificial poppies used as a symbol of remembrance (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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