The BLC Blog

A forum and learning place for British Language Centre students

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Remembrance Day

Today is the day when we commemorate the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and civilians in times of war, specifically since the First World War when the tradition was created by King George V in 1919. The date is the 11th of the eleventh month to mark the end of WWI in 1918.

It is common for people to wear a poppy (the red flower seen in the photo) on this day. The poppy was chosen as a suitable symbol for Remembrance Day after one of the most famous poems about WWI, In Flanders Fields by John Mcrae, a Canadian military physician. It is said that the red colour of the poppy aptly represents the bloodshed that takes place in wartimes.

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
To see news coverage of Remembrance Day in London this year, go to this video link.

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