Remembrance Day


It’s Remembrance Day here in Canada (and in other countries that were former territories of the British Empire), and red poppies are everywhere. This symbol of soldiers’ sacrifice comes from the following poem written in 1915 by the Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae.

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.

This past week in homeschool we have been reading two excellent books about soldiers’ experiences in war: the picture book In Flanders Fields by Norman Jorgensen, illustrated by Brian Harrison-Lever and the collection of poetry War and the Pity of War, edited by Neil Philip and illustrated by Michael McCurdy. After reading aloud and discussing several poems from the latter, the Younger Fives were inspired to write one of their own.

“Do Not Go to War” by High Five
War is bad.
I call for help.
I am afraid of war.
I miss my family and my friends and my brother and sister.
But if I try to escape I’l die.

“The Grand Fire” by Five Ball
Fire roars through the forest.
Destroying everything in its path.
Animals try to run but are burnd in the clatter.

It comes across a village and decided to pillage.
And destroys that too.
That is the grand fire.
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“Broken Movie” by Five of Hearts

In a tent, sheltered from the worst.
A pilot’s wheeled in, horribly hurt.
A picture of flying and being hurt goes across my mind
Like a broken movie that won’t stop.
A soldier’s wheeled in badly injured.
A picture of running and getting hurt goes across my mind
Like a broken movie that won’t stop.
More movies come and won’t stop
And I didn’t pay to see them.
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