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“In Flanders Fields” – By John McCrae

November 4, 2013

john-mccrae-19141One 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 image is of the poem in alexis-helmer-250McCrae’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. 


We Will Remember Them

On November 10 and 11 we’ll pause at St. Paul’s to remember the sacrifice of Helmer, McCrae, and so many others who laid down their lives for our freedom; and affirm our dedication to take and hold high the torch that they have thrown to us. At our 8:30 and 10:00 morning Services on November 10, we’ll have a Remembrance Sunday focus, which will include the Last Post. And at 7:30 p.m. on November 11, we’ll spend an “Evening of Remembrance” together, in which we’ll share Remembrance Day stories and readings, including this poem.


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