Poetry Friday: In Flander’s Field, A Poem for Veteran’s Day

Arlington National Cemetary, © Carol Labuzzetta, 2012.

Since I’ve been keeping up with my daily blog on Medium and writing each night on my NaNoWriMo novel, I do not have a poem of my own ready today. Veteran’s Day. Thus, I went searching for one on Poets.org where you can find poetry in the public domain.

In Flanders Fields

John McCrae – 1872-1918

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 was 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.

The poem is in the public domain.

Source: https://poets.org/poem/flanders-fields

John McCrae was a Canadian doctor and teacher that served in WWI. (Source: Poets.org)

Arlington National Cemetary, 2012. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2012.

More poems about Veterans Day can be found on this page at Poets.org. You’ll note that the page also describes the source of Veteran’s Day and that it was originally called Armistice Day to commemorate the end of WWI. Thus, McCrae’s poem is fitting since that is the war he served in.

I don’t know of any kidlit authors who’ve written about Veterans Day. I’m sure there are some and maybe I’ll learn that today, from some of my fellow participants in Poetry Friday. It is a somber and serious subject, therefore I’m not surprised I did not find anything suitable to share.

During elementary school, my boys all had to write a piece or pieces on Veterans Day for the school assembly. Some were chosen to be read by the student to the school-wide audience, including parents, guests, and former servicemen and women. It was always a beautiful assembly, full of reverence, appreciation, and music.

The high school also did a great Veterans Day assembly which I went to one time when my son played the piano as an accompaniment to the chorus, which sang Blades of Grass and Pure White Stone. It is a beautiful song.

And finally, if you’ve never been to Washington D.C., to see our country’s memorials to those who’ve served you should go. The monuments are stunning, especially at night. We’ve wandered through them several times in the last twenty years.

Memorial in Washington, D.C., © Carol Labuzzetta, 2015.
WWII Memorial. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2019.

I hope everyone has a grateful heart today and expresses their appreciation for our veterans. My dad served in the Air Force and my mother-in-law served in the Army. We have a good friend who served in the Marines, and another two friends who served in the Army recently, with one still currently active. It is a role not everyone or just anyone can take on, but we all should appreciate their sacrifices – time away from family and home, and sometimes their lives as well.

Be sure you thank a veteran today. They protect our freedoms.

Statue of Freedom in the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. © Carol labuzzetta, 2019.

NaNoWriMo Update

The Poetry Friday group has been wonderfully supportive of my NaNoWriMo efforts. I thought I would update you all on my progress. The only day I skipped writing so far was last Saturday, as we were spending it at one of our son’s apartments and socializing with family and friends. But, each day before and since, I’ve been able to meet the 1,667 words per day goal. In total, I have written 14,762 words in my novel so far.

I’ve definitely found it a challenge and the pacing of the novel’s events have been the most difficult part. Surprisingly, I thought it would be writing the dialogue but so far that has not presented a problem for me.

Thank you to all for your interest and support of my NaNoWriMo journey!

Image Use courtesy of NaNoWriMo.org

Today is Poetry Friday and our host is children’s author Buffy Silverman! By clicking her name, you can go to Buffy’s blog and read her post that reviews a wonderful new story by Laura Purdie Salas and learn what else Buffy’s been up to lately! Be sure to stop by her Mr. Linky page too for access to other participants in Poetry Friday! Thanks for hosting, Buffy!

6 thoughts

  1. Wow–that’s a lot of NaNoWriMo writing! Congrats on making your daily goal. You got me wondering about kidlit Veteran’s Day posts and I checked out The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations. “Dear Veteran” by Linda Kulp Trout is in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for posting “In Flanders Fields.” In every situation where young lives are lost, where all their potential for goodness in the world is snuffed (whether in war or mass shootings or bridge collapses) I wonder, what does it mean to “Take up our quarrel with the foe…”? Maybe not literally fight the same battle they were in, but perhaps make sure we do our very best to fill the world to the brim with loving kindness and creativity. To honor THEIR lost potential by honoring our OWN potential. (The way you are, by challenging yourself to NANOWRIMO!!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’re right MaryLee. There are more ways to take up the quarrel with the foe than resorting violence. We all have potential to add to the world in a kind and loving way – honoring our own strengths. Thanks for adding your wisdom to my comment page!


  3. I love this poem, Carol, and like Mary Lee, I feel like we can catch the torch and hold it high in different ways than those who came before–kinder, smarter, more compassionate ways. Go NANOWRIMO!

    Liked by 1 person

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