Dr. John McCrae, a native of Guelph, Ontario, Canada,
was serving as a field surgeon in the Canadian artillery,
responsible for a field hospital,
during the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915.
The death and burial of his friend, and former student, Lt. Alexis Helmer,
prompted Dr. McCrae to write ‘In Flanders Fields’, on May 3, 1915.
Dr. McCrae died three years later, in France, from cerebral meningitis,
and complications from pneumonia.
Interestingly, Dr. McCrae originally ended the first
and second last lines of the poem with the word, 'grow'.
Upon the suggestion of the British magazine, Punch,
to change 'grow' in the first line, to 'blow',
the poet agreed, although he was known for using
both versions when writing the poemby hand for friends and family.
The poem is taught in Canadian schools, in early November
to honour all the brave soldiers who risked and lost their lives,
to protect our country's freedom.
Lest we forget.
thinking of her beautiful, native country,
grateful for those men and women of tremendous courage,
on this Remembrance Day,
Monday, November 11th, 2013.
All images: Google