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Remembrance Day Poppies

Who would have thought that a short poem, written in the middle of war, would become one of Canada’s most widely known literary works?

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was a physician and poet from  Guelph, Ontario. He enrolled in the Canadian Army and fought in the First World War. When a fellow soldier and close friend died in the second battle of Ypres, McCrae performed the funeral service.

After that, he wrote the poem In Flanders Fields that would come to represent the sacrifices of all those who give their lives in the service of freedom.

PoppiesIn 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.

This poem is the reason why on November 11, on the anniversary of the Armistice that marked the end of the First World War, people in many countries of the world wear a poppy on their lapel.

You can make your own poppy to wear on Remembrance Day. This is an easy craft to make in class or with a church group.

Printable instructions

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