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“In Flanders Fields” – By John McCrae

November 14, 2011

One of Canada’s most famous poems, “In Flanders Fields” was written in 1915 by the person in the photo on the left, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae (the above picture is of the poem in McCrae’s own handwriting). McCrae wrote the poem because of what happened to the person on the right, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, his former student and good friend. Helmer was killed instantly by an 8 inch shell in the Second Battle of Ypres on May 2. He was just 22 years old. In the absence of a Chaplain, McCrae took the Service. Afterwards, to give expression to what was going on in his heart, he wrote this poem. McCrae himself died of pneumonia three short years later, in 1918. Kerry Peters read “In Flanders Fields” at both Services on November 13, and pledged to take and hold high the torch that Helmer, McCrae, and the others who have sacrificed themselves for our freedom, have thrown to us.

From → All Posts, Quotes

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