Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Heads or Tails #64 -- "wear" or "where"

For a moment there I was worried. With today's Heads or Tails theme, our chief designer, Barb, seemed to be soliciting fashion tips (as in 'what to wear'). Asking the Curmudgeon to give fashion tips is like asking for a beer at the Woman's Christian Temperance Union headquarters: You can ask all you like, but you'll come away empty every time.

Fortunately, Barb has offered an alternative today. We may also discourse on 'where.' As in, I suppose, a location.

There is a location that I'm thinking of on this Armistice Day. Armistice Day was the name by which the 11th day of the 11th month was known in 1918 and for a time thereafter. It commemorated the end of the Great War. That conflict was also known as War to End All Wars....

...until World War II came along.

Today Armistice Day is known, in America, as Veterans Day, in honor of all veterans, in all wars, including our present ones.

But today, on the 90th anniversary of the day the guns fell silent on the Western Front, I am thinking of a place in Europe... and a poem by a Canadian doctor and soldier:
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.
--- Lt.-Col. John McCrae


Anonymous said...

That is a beautiful tribute.

Barb said...

Veterans are the true heroes.. not the actors or singers.. or even President-Elects.

The Beach Bum said...

Curmudgeon -

I wrote my Veteran's Day Blog yesterday, I am a Viet Nam era Vet.

I too remember the Flanders Field poem, we had to memorize it in Grammar School.

One of my Great Uncles is buried there.

The Beach Bum

Shel said...

You beat me to it, Curmudgeon. That poem is my favorite, and my usual Veteran's Day post. Maybe I should post it anyway and we can do a mini "Peace Day" except with Veteran's day *smile*

Tumblewords: said...

Wonderful post! Thank you...

Shelby said...

I've loved that poem for a long time. I'm so glad you shared it today. Wonderful.

Ralph said...

In 2008, so many of us have it soft. We haven't had to be in Omaha Beach or Anzio or Okinawa. The soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen gave their all to defeat our enemies. We, on the other hand, can kick back. PAtti and I went to a nice small town program on the green today. Lots of WWII vets were there. Unfortunately, their ranks are thinning. The best to the US and Canadian vets on this day.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this tribute - such an awesome reflection. I had to memorize this poem in high school and write an essay on what it meant to us. I think that would be a great exercise for everyone.

Berni said...

Thanks for posting.

Patti said...

Nice post and tribute. I also know this poem well, although I didn't memorize it.

The WWII generation is quickly leaving us. One of them who I had gotten to know quite well died earlier this year. He was the nicest man, a widower whose only daughter had died of cancer when she was in her 50s. I believe I reminded him of her.