Monday, November 9, 2009

11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month

Poppy Field
Originally uploaded by Nber Medici

Eleven AM on November 11th 1918 marked the official beginning of the Armistice that ended conflict in WW I. Roughly 20 million people died world wide in this conflict. This is one of those events that is commemorated in a number of countries with various names. In the US, it has been named Veteran's Day.

I have planted a field of poppies at Union Passage Sim in Second Life to mark the day.  Why are poppies appropriate to mark this day? Because of this poem by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) who served in the Canadian Army.

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.

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