It was a great Canadian, Lieutenant-Colonel Dr. John McCrae, a physician and military officer who penned the words most associated with the symbol of Remembrance: the poppies of Flanders Fields. Words that should guide and honour our commitment to peace and the values that made deaths such as his, valued and worthwhile in the cause for which he served.

My thoughts on this day may be found at:
And this are the words John McCrae wrote memorializing his friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, who died in the second Battle of Ypres on the 3rd of May 1915 . . .

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.

And so we pray . . .

Give rest, O Christ, to your servants with your saints where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting. AMEN

Nola-Susan Crewe JD, MDiv, MA, GCTJ