Expat Magazine

“In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae, Recited by Leonard Cohen

By Gail Aguiar @ImageLegacy

It’s a national holiday* today in Canada and other members of the Commonwealth: Remembrance Day, also known as Armistice Day, when World War I was officially ended at 11:00, November 11, 1918 (the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month). There’s a war poem often recited during Remembrance Day ceremonies by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, written in 1915, titled “In Flanders Fields”. In this video it’s recited by Leonard Cohen (Order of Canada, National Order of Quebec), who passed away yesterday.

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.

On November 11 every year, the Canadian flag is flown on all government buildings and people remember those who fought for Canada during a 2-minute silence at 11:00. Before and on Remembrance Day, many people wear poppies to show their respect and support for Canadian troops. Poppies are distributed free by the Canadian Legion, but are a by-donation fundraiser for veterans and their families.

National Post – Remembrance Day in pictures: 22 rare images showing the terror, humanity of Canada at war

RIP Leonard Cohen (September 21, 1934 – November 10, 2016)

* not a statutory holiday in NS, NWT, ON and QC


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