IN FLANDERS FIELDS
By Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae
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
I am neither a pacifist or a fighter. I want world peace, and we still don’t have it.
More than I hate war, I hate the need for war. I hate the need to send our young adults into the fray of death, where even those who are not physically harmed are forever changed. I hate knowing that if we don’t step in thousands will be tortured or murdered. I hate that there are people capable of such atrocities. I hate that these regimes are so terrible that the people who live there are too afraid to stand up for their human rights.
For all you who have served, thank you. For all you who love someone who served, my gratitude to them. I know very few of their names, but I am acutely aware that my life is infinitely blessed because of them.
Remembrance Day is for those who fought as soldiers because of tyranny, because of hatred, because of blame. Presidents and generals are nothing without soldiers, thousands upon thousands who serve and die in battle so that my children will never feel the reasons why.
Remembering soldiers is not the same as supporting war. All good people hate war. All good people hate killing. But all good people must make a stand against the bad, and when the bad have risen to great power, good people must walk into their hell, do what they hate at great risk to themselves, take up the torch of those who have fallen before them, so that other good people may live freely.