Friday, November 11, 2011

11/11/11/11

I will always think of this day in November as Remembrance Day and hear the sounds of Elgar's Nimrod echoing in my ears from having watched the services and poppy wreath laying at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, when I was young.

Originally this day was called Armistice Day, to commemorate the end of fighting in WW I and the armistice signed on November 11th 1918. After the end of WW II  it became known as Remembrance Day in England and Veterans Day in America.


One chilly November day we walked between the rows of gravestones at the British Cemetery in France.


Then walked those very beaches where so many lost their lives.




The WW I battlefields are known collectively as the Flanders Fields. The ground was so disturbed by  mortar shells that it brought to the surface thousands of poppy seeds which bloomed the following year. The red corn poppy became the emblem of the fallen because of this and was immortalized in the words of John McCrae in his poem The Flanders Fields.

6 comments:

  1. Jenny, Isn't the poem incredibly moving. One of my dear friends had a red poppy on her jacket that was her mums! gail

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  2. Good reminder and history lesson. Many in the US have forgotten the original meaning/reason behind this particular date. Nice memorial.

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  3. We were taught the history of this day, in school. I wonder if that is still the case. I'll have to ask my granddaughters.

    Beautiful red poppies are a great symbol of remembrance.

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  4. Thanks for sharing this Jenny. I'll now look at red poppies with a new appreciation.

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  5. I never knew about the red poppies before. Beautiful post! Thank you for sharing, and thank you to veterans and their families, who sacrifice so much.

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  6. When we lived in Belgium, my parents took me to the huge military cemetary above Omaha Beach (?) in France, overlooking the ocean. Intense and solemn - I learned very little about that time or related events, except for my parents and a history teacher who was a WWII vet.

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