In Flanders Fields
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.
- John McCrae
The following is a tribute to those from Nanaimo who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we have been able to enjoy such a peaceful and comfortable life.
I am a 60 year old man now, and have never been faced with the need to put myself in harms way, as did my father and one grandfather, (the other served the war effort as a machinist, making the instruments of war). While my fathers time in the service was short and as a radar tech he seldom was directly in harms way, nevertheless, he would have been prepared to go into the breach had the situation presented itself.
My one grandfather who served in the first world war, was so eager to serve that he lied about his age in order to enlist. The desire to serve King and country and the alure of three meals a day perhaps was what made him so eager to jump into the fray. I remember some stories of how he was valued less than the horses as he was easier to replace, not much detail of his time as a machine gunner as I am sure many of these memories were best left on the field of battle. The stories of coming home from the war with trench feet, a common ailment from spending so much time with wet cold feet, resulting in a hole in his heel he could stick his thumb into.
Then there was the times of strict rations of everyday things we just take for granted, such as eggs and flour and butter. I can never remember any time in my life when I have been restricted on how much food I could have, except for the restrictions resulting from my wallet. But my generation and I have no idea what it is to sacrifice anything, we are perhaps one of the most coddled and in the end spoiled generations to draw breath. We owe that freedom to the valiant men and women of yesterday who paid such a high price for what we now take for granted.
On Remembrance Day, take the time to really stop and contemplate on the price that those fallen and injured paid so that we have been able to enjoy such life as we have had.
Front Street Nanaimo