Sunday, June 14, 2009

Old Glory

It's Flag Day! Here's a poem that takes me back to eighth grade and Ms. Storer's English class. I remember that we all had to memorize a poem. I located this one on one of the bookshelves in the den, but had no idea what it was all about. In my brief research, I found it to be one of the most popular poems of the WWI era. One June evening, while I was busy attempting to memorize it for class, Dad mentioned the connection between this poem and his American Legion Post(Andrews Post in Portland) and their Memorial Day poppy sales. Eureka! It finally made sense. At the end of my presentation to the class, I shared this conversation that I had with my Dad. As I remember, my time in front of the classroom ended with Ms. Storer commenting a bit more of what she knew about the feller who wrote it. But for me... Whew! I was just so happy that I had gotten through it without forgetting a word of it and without fainting!

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.

Lt.-Col. John McCrae (1872 - 1918)


  1. Every time I see a poppy I think of this poem. That's an amazing moment you describe in your note, Birdman. The sort of moment teachers (and parents) dream about. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  2. Happy FLAG Day! Love your picture especially on this American holiday AND my birthday! My Dad always said that they fly the flag for my birthday. Regards from EAGAN daily photo

  3. Beautiful post. Well done.

  4. Great shot of the flag. Did you remember the poem to type it here, or did you have to look it up?

  5. Surprisingly, this one and another one I had to memorize "O Captain My Captain" by Whitman come back rather easily. Funny huh?