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From one poet to another.
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Growing up as a South Asian, second-generation Canadian in suburban Montreal, I remember standing in the school auditorium on Remembrance Day as we'd hear stories from veterans of the Second World war. Doing so was an integral part of our Canadian upbringing in our parent's adopted home.
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In a country that traditionally does not know its own history, young people are often identified as the main offenders. But this poem is different. It represents something that is ours. Written by a Canadian, learned by Canadians and recited by Canadians. The Vimy Foundation is calling on all Canadian schools to help pass the torch of remembrance by reciting In Flanders Fields.
I feel very proud to say that I had an ancestor who fought in the war and returned to Canada as a veteran. I am sometimes astounded at how many Canadians don't know about their family's military contributions. In fact, a recent Ancestry.ca survey revealed one in three Canadians has no idea whether they had an ancestor who fought in the First World War.
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As the Second Battle of Ypres sputtered out, McCrae was serving as second-in-command of a Canadian artillery brigade and as brigade surgeon.
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 icon...