Speak MY Piece: Veterans Day, “In Flanders Fields”

A veteran dressed to impress mingles with his peers at Maple Point Middle School. Photo by Rick Rickman. Oct. 2019

Nov. 11, 2020. Veterans’ Day.

Let’s pause from our busy-ness… and remember all who served our country in war and peace. This is a holiday, a day set aside to remind us to remember. I take this opportunity to personally thank all veterans, including those I know and knew, for the time spent, the time lost, and the willingness to serve.

Every year, I re-read the 1915 poem, In Flanders Fields, a moving tribute by John McCrae, a Canadian WW1 soldier, physician, inspired following the death of a young soldier. It is a poem about those who made the ultimate sacrifice in Belgian. In the closing lines, written from the perspective of the dead, we hear of their undying valor:

“…Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch: be yours to hold high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.”

On this day, the sun rises, birds fly, flowers grow where veterans also work and live. Thank you.