We will remember them

This summer, the botanic gardens in the city where I live planted a beautiful wildflower border dotted with poppies, in honour of the 100th anniversary of the First World War. I went to visit the garden and took this image of a single bloom, serene and delicate, swaying gently in the breeze on a hot June day, much like those flowers marking the battlefields a century ago.

The men and women in service of our country gave their lives so that we, their future generations, could live without fear. Those of us who have only lived in peacetime cannot begin to imagine the horror of what those courageous individuals experienced. When we look at images of conflictthe trenches, the guns and smoke and torn limbs and carnage – it’s beyond our comprehension. It is brutal and devastating, and we are lucky never to have had our existences endangered in that way.

But they did –  they made the ultimate sacrifice. For this we offer our deepest gratitude and respect.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

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.

John McCrae, May 1915


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