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Wreaths of artificial poppies used as a symbol...

In Flanders Fields by 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.                                                          

Remembrance Day is this Sunday, the second Sunday in November.  It is celebrated at the same time as our Veterans Day, first set up as Armistice Day at the end of World War I, but is more similar in spirit to our Memorial Day.  The poem In Flanders Fields, which was written during World War I, is the inspiration behind Britain’s Poppy Appeal.  Donations are collected to help veterans, and donors are given a poppy to wear.  As I walk around London, I see people from all walks of life wearing one of these poppies.  While there are some who are completely cynical toward those who wear a poppy, I think it’s a beautiful tradition and a visible reminder of those who made and continue to make huge sacrifices to protect and defend us.