This Sunday, January 28th, will mark the centenary of the death of the well-known Canadian poet- John McCrae. Author of the poem In Flanders Fields, McCrae’s memory is immortalized in the words he wrote during the Second Battle of Ypres. The Canadian soldier, however, was more than just a poet. When the war broke out in 1914, McCrae was appointed medical officer to the First Brigade of the Canadian Field Artillery and accompanied one of the first Canadian contingents that departed from Valcartier, Québec for England in October 1914.
We in Canada are used to seeing poppies on lapels this time of year. It’s a immediate signal that Remembrance Day is near, and that the time of commemorative activities has begun. On this Remembrance Day, I would like to take a moment to write about why the poppy gain significance in the 20th century, and how it has become a symbol of commemoration throughout North American and the Commonwealth. Continue reading ““In Flanders fields”: Poppies and the tradition of remembrance”