LIVING

In Flanders Fields: Words To John McCrae's Remembrance Day Poem

11/10/2014 01:19 EST | Updated 11/11/2014 09:59 EST
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[UNVERIFIED CONTENT] The red poppy is a symbol of remembrance for all the men and women who fought in war. This design is Canadian. A hand is selecting a pin from many.

John McCrae's World War One poem "In Flanders Fields" is arguably the most iconic piece of writing from that conflict.

The poem, first published in 1915 in British magazine Punch, quickly became iconic and inspired the annual tradition of wearing poppies to commemorate veterans on Remembrance Day.

In the days before writing the poem, McCrae, a Canadian army doctor, had lost a close friend and noticed the small red flowers growing in the graves around fallen soldiers. McCrae himself would not survive the war, dying of illness in January, 1918.

In the following decades the poem has been recited countless times at memorials and school assemblies. We've included the words below:

in flanders fields

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.