Croker Sack

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." — Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Each generation's duty

Each generation of free people struggles to preserve liberty.

The sacrifices made by veterans of World War I were memorialized through the declaration of a national holiday, "Armistice Day"--November 11th.

John McCrae's poem, "In Flanders Fields," was the best known expression of the resolve of the men fighting in that war.

As it became clear that the great war to end all wars had not ended wars, November 11th became our day to honor our veterans of all wars.

McCrae's poem still states the duty of each generation best.

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.

John McCrae (1872-1918)

"In Flanders Fields" was first published in England's "Punch" magazine December 8, 1915.


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