My Thoughts on Remembrance Day

November 11th is Remembrance Day in Canada. The poem, My Thoughts on Remembrance Day, was written by a very special boy! He is 10 years old, and is in Grade 5. He recently wrote this poem and recited during his school assembly. His great Grandfather fought in World War I, and in World War II.

Cody honored his Grandfather's memory by writing this poem about him. His grandfather is now passed away, but his memory lives within Cody. Cody's Grandpa is only one of the many Canadians who fought in the wars so that all of us would have our freedom - men who should be forever remembered and honored.

My Thoughts on Remembrance Day
By Cody Lynch, 2007

On the eleventh day of the eleventh month
We pause at the eleventh hour
Some of us stop to pray
For soldiers who died or went missing along the way.

Lest we forget the wars that were fought
To give us freedom
So many were shot.

I will always remember
My great Grandpa who died
Rest in peace dear Grandpa
You are always on my mind.

I would love to join the military someday
To give back to my country
And to make my world a better place.

Rest in peace all you soldiers
Who gave up your lives
For people like me
It's a shame that you died.

Thank you Cody for sharing your words of wisdom and for reminding us all how important it is to stop and be thankful for all those who have fought in wars so that we have may all enjoy our freedom. The bravery and risk that these men took will not be forgotten.

Another famous poem of remembrance, In Flanders Fields, was written by Dr. John McCrae. In April 1915, one of Dr. John McCrae's closest friends and comrades was killed in the trenches near Ypres, Belgium. He was buried in a humble grave with a simple wooden cross. Wild poppies bloomed between the crosses marking the many graves. The next day, unable to help his friend or any of the others who had died, Dr. McCrae gave them a voice through this poem.

On January 28, 1918, John McCrae succumbed to pneumonia and meningitis. He died not knowing the outcome of the war, but with a full understanding of the cost of it. Before he died, Dr. McCrae had the satisfaction of knowing that his poem had been a success. Soon after its publication, it became the most popular poem on the First World War. It was translated into many languages and used on billboards advertising the sale of first Victory Loan Bonds in Canada in 1917. In part because of the poem's popularity, the poppy was adopted as the Flower of Remembrance. The symbolic poppy and John McCrae's poems are still linked, and the voices of those who have died in war continue to be heard each Remembrance Day.

In Flanders Fields

Poet: Dr. 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.

Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"But the freedom that they fought for, and the country grand they wrought for, is their monument to-day, and for aye." Thomas Dunn English

"Remembrance Day isn't just about war and those we've lost, but about ideals and what we stand for. It's about respecting our past and looking hopefully forward, and more than anything, thanking those who have served." Rebecca Zamon

"A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself." Joseph Campbell

"It is fitting that we continue to set aside a day to give thanks to the God who has brought us through two world wars and other regional conflicts. It is fitting, too, that we honour those who served and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. May we never take for granted the freedom we enjoy nor those who fought to defend that freedom." Rev. Richard Jackson

"It is an honour to pay tribute to the women and men in uniform who protect our rights and freedom, so that we may enjoy the rights and freedoms denied to so many." Brian Gallant

"Today, we pause to remember and honour the Canadian men and women who have served our country and fought for freedom around the world. Time may fade, but our memories cannot. We all have a duty to hold the torch high, and to keep its flame alight." Justin Trudeau

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