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.
by John McCrae, May 1915
|Poppies in Malta|
Following the war the allied nations chose this day and time for the commemoration of their war dead and so we observe this each year to remember those who died or suffered in all wars and armed conflicts. You can read more here - Commemoration Remembrance Day - Australian War Memorial
From its association with poppies flowering on the First World War battlefields of Belgium, France and Gallipoli, the red poppy has become associated with remembering the loss of life and the destruction.
"In soldiers’ folklore, the vivid red of the poppy came from the blood of their fallen comrades which had soaked the ground. The poppy flower grew rapidly and in large numbers across the graves of thousands of soldiers, leading it to become a symbol of sacrifice and loss."
In the photo above you can see one of two remembrance walls at the Australian War Memorial in our capital city Canberra, where are recorded on bronze panels the names of over 102,000 Australians who have died in conflicts. On one of these two walls you can find the name of your family member and place a poppy beside their name, as we did when we visited. This is the closest we can come to the burial place of my great uncle who died in WW1 and my husband's uncle in WW2, so it was a moving experience to be able to do this.
This year a display of 62,000 handcrafted red poppies are being displayed in the Australian War Memorial's grounds symbolically representing Australian lives lost in the First World War. You might like to view this short video about 62,000 poppies symbolising 62,000 lives lost.....
In other places around Australia too, community groups have made their own poppy displays, on this year 2018, 100 years since the ending of World War 1.
In Western Australia the Returned Service's League, also have a 62,000 poppy project to be displayed in the ground's surrounding the State War Memorial in Perth. Many thanks to RSLWA on Facebook for sharing this image.
But I wonder, as conflicts continue around the world, have we learnt anything from the death and maiming of so many thousands, soldiers and innocents, and those that came home broken in body and spirit.
When we were in Spain, Malta and Italy in May this year we saw lots of poppies, in fields and along roadsides.
More often than not we were zooming by in the tour bus, and there was no stopping to take photos. But on a couple of occasions we saw them where I could take photos. Below here are poppies near the The Colosseum in Rome, and in Pompei.
On Sunday 11 November, I will be thinking of my Great Uncle Norman who died in the first few days of the Gallipoli campaign. He was only 19. I never knew him, but the memory of him, and the loss of his young life, always brings me to tears at times like Remembrance Day and Anzac Day.
In Western Australia where I live, the Department of Communities has contracted Perth company Impact Communications to conduct a cascading poppy lightshow.
Places where it has been displayed are: Exmouth's Vlamingh Head Lighthouse, Geraldton Museum, Kalgoorlie Town Hall, Albany Town Hall, Bunbury's St Patrick's Cathedral, Fremantle's WA Maritime Museum, finishing with Perth's St George's Cathedral on Sunday evening.
Below you can see the display at St Patrick's Cathedral in Bunbury. It really was beautiful.
A river of hand-made poppies flowing over rocks at Peppermnt Lane Lodge in the Ferguson Valley where we held a small ceremony on Sunday at 11am.
Please click on the links to read the story behind the poem In Flanders Fields and The red remembrance poppy
The Australian War Memorial and 62,000 poppies.
Thank you so much for stopping by. Do you have a day like Remembrance Day in your country? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it in your comments. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.
You might also like:
25th April - Anzac Day - when we remember them
Anzac Day - 25th April
On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month - Armistice
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