Tag Archives: In Flanders Fields

2017 Poppy Appeal For “Red Poppy Day” — The “In Flanders Fields” Video By The British Legion.

by Anura Guruge


Start here for a large COMPENDIUM of “Red Poppy” information
— history, significance, traditions & photos.


Must Watch.

Very Moving.


For those unfamiliar with this
holiday & tradition.

Poppy Day,
also known as Remembrance Day
& Armistice Day,
is Veteran’s Day in the
British Commonwealth.

It is always observed on November 11, without exception since that was Armistice Day — the day, in 1918, the armistice [i.e., truce] was signed the Allies [i.e., US the good guys] and Germany, at Compiègne, France, to bring to an end World War I [1914 to 1918], which involved over 70 million troops and had killed more than 9 million combatants.

The armistice was signed, symbolically, on the ‘eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month‘, 11 a.m., on 11/11, 1918 in a railway carriage in the woods of Compiègne, in northern France. [Yes, I have visited Compiègne and seen the railway carriage].

The poppies symbolize those that grew in profusion across some of the worst battlefields. [Think of French Claude Monet’s ‘Poppies Blooming’ painted in 1873.]

A Canadian physician, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, who was serving in WW I,wrote a poem, in 1915, called ‘In Flanders Fields‘, after attending the funeral of a fellow soldier [‘Flanders‘ being a region in northern Europe in which there was heavy fighting]. The first verse of it went:

 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.

The original poem. Click to ENLARGE.



by Anura Guruge

“Poppy Day” Tradition In Canada & The Plaque That Hangs In The ‘Prince Arthur Hotel’ In Thunder Bay, Ontario.

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by Anura Guruge


Prior posts:
>> Poppy Day, November 11, British Remembrance Day:
>> A Beautiful Tradition — Nov. 10, 2012.

>> Poppy Day, 2012: President Obama
>> In Arlington Without One — Nov. 11, 2012.
>> I ask President Obama to wear a poppyNov. 11, 2012.



To See a more detailed picture of this plaque
taken June 2013 — click.


From a contributor from Ontario, Canada.

This above plaque hangs in the lobby of the Prince Arthur Hotel in the city of Thunder Bay, Ontario, the amalgamation of twin cities Fort William and Port Arthur in 1970.

Mme. Anna Guerin, wife of a French jurist and founder of a Paris war orphanage reached out to North American for financial support. She was aware of Canadians’ strong association between the Flanders poppy and their heavy overseas losses, their “fallen” soldiers, since late December 1915 when an little poem “In Flanders Fields” appeared anonymously in England’s popular periodical ‘Punch‘.

This turned out to be authored by an Ontario physician army officer, composed that May while contemplating the fresh grave of friend, which later was sent to England by a fellow officer.

As she wrapped up her charitable fundraising, in 1921 Mme. Guerin brought out French-made cloth replicas of the wildflower and, with the encouragement of Canada’s first ‘returned soldiers’ association [see plaque] and public support asked government to recognize it and ask citizens everywhere to wear one on November 11 that year. Recently with our own Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa, the custom has arisen spontaneously of placing one’s poppy on the sculpture, a blanket of funeral-like flowers. A moving sight.

The first Armistice Day in the Empire, 1918, was an occasion of celebration and thanksgiving for victory. But in 1919 King George V asked his subjects everywhere to pause just where they were, to stop all traffic, and to observe two minute of silence at the stroke of 11 am in remembrance of those who did not come back. This tradition makes it a solemn day, remembering our many losses, the families they left behind, while former military “vets” join civilians recalling lost comrades.



Punch 1915


Prince Arthur Hotel a Thunder Bay landmark


I Ask President Obama To Consider Wearing A Poppy: Poppy Day, November 11, 2012.


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

….
by Anura Guruge


Prior posts:
>> Poppy Day, November 11, British Remembrance Day: A Beautiful Tradition — Nov. 10, 2012.
>> Poppy Day, 2012: President Obama In Arlington Without One — Nov. 11, 2012.


Anura Guruge requesting President Obama to wear Poppy on Poppy Day

I submitted this to the President via the White House Website. It was submitted around 2:58 pm (Eastern) on November 11, 2012. Click to ENLARGE.

Poppy Day, November 11, 2012: President Obama In Arlington Without One; British Leaders At The Cenotaph With.


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

….
by Anura Guruge


Prior post:
>> Poppy Day, November 11, British Remembrance Day: A Beautiful Tradition — Nov. 10, 2012.


Poppy Day 2012 Obama Cameron on Veterans Day

David Cameron, British Prime Minister proudly sporting a poppy and newly re-elected Barack Obama without one on Remembrance/Veterans Day 2012. We have to change this. The poppy on November 11 is such a powerful, evocative symbol. Help ME! Click to ENLARGE.

For full video of the British Cenotaph 2012 remembrance from the UK ‘The Telegraph‘ (replete with Poppy on the banner) click here.

For full video of 2-term President Barack Obama at Arlington on November 11, 2012, from the ‘Huffington Postclick here.

The Queen, Poppy Day 2012 showing how it is carried off with pomp.

91-year old Prince Phillip, a navy veteran.

Poppy Day, November 11 (Every Year), British Remembrance Day: A Beautiful Tradition


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

….
by Anura Guruge






Poppy Day,
also known as Remembrance Day
& Armistice Day,
is Veteran’s Day in the
British Commonwealth.

It is always observed on November 11, without exception since that was Armistice Day — the day, in 1918, the armistice [i.e., truce] was signed the Allies [i.e., US the good guys] and Germany, at Compiègne, France, to bring to an end World War I [1914 to 1918], which involved over 70 million troops and had killed more than 9 million combatants.

The armistice was signed, symbolically, on the ‘eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month‘, 11 a.m., on 11/11, 1918 in a railway carriage in the woods of Compiègne, in northern France. [Yes, I have visited Compiègne and seen the railway carriage].

The poppies symbolize those that grew in profusion across some of the worst battlefields. [Think of French Claude Monet’s ‘Poppies Blooming’ painted in 1873.] A Canadian physician, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, who was serving in WW I,wrote a poem, in 1915, called ‘In Flanders Fields‘, after attending the funeral of a fellow soldier [‘Flanders‘ being a region in northern Europe in which there was heavy fighting]. The first verse of it went:

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.

An autographed copy of the poem that gives us this lovely tradition.


Herein comes the beautiful, evocative, touching tradition of wearing a poppy, on your lapel or hat, in the weeks leading up to November 11.

It is a wonderful tradition. A visual gesture.

Why we don’t do it in the U.S. is a mystery to me. Though I think about it every November I have, until this, never really given it much thought. I am going to look into it. I am going to see if I can introduce to this country. People will love it. Kids would embrace it. In my other life, as a papal historian, I often have to look at British newspapers online. Over the last two weeks they have included a poppy in their banner, example 1 & example 2. It was those images in the newspaper banners that really hit home. They have poppies in Canada for Poppy Day.


Click to explore.



November 11, 2012
President Obama without one and British Prime Minister with a poppy.
Also the Queen and her husband.
Click for this November 11, 2012 post.