November 7, 2011


This coming November 11th is Veteran's Day for those of us here in the U.S. It's a day we honor military veterans. It's a day we remember them, show gratitude to them, and honor their heritage. For Canadians this day is called Remembrance Day. While we honor all veterans it is a special time to remember and honor those that have died in the line of duty since World War I. The date was chosen because it is the official date of the end of World War I in 1918.

This national holiday in Canada is similar to Memorial Day for American's and it seemed to be one of the holidays where true patriotism shone through for Canadians. Assemblies leading up to the day, a moment of silence at 11:00 on the holiday, and all sorts of memories come back as I think about this time.

As a child though, I had little understanding of Freedom. It's a hard concept to understand when you live in a free country and a happy home. I knew my Grandpa fought in a war, I understood war was bad and killed people, but since then I have learned to appreciate and understand true Freedom on a much deeper level. I am so grateful for the freedom I have and I am especially grateful to those who have defended and continue to defend it.

One tradition that I loved was the wearing of poppies (fake ones). They are seen all over on everyone around this holiday. Poppies became a symbol of remembrance because of the poem, "In Flanders Fields" believed to be written by Lt. Col. John McCrae, a Canadian physician after he witnessed the death of his friend. The poppies grew in profusion in the disturbed battlefields and cemeteries of Flanders and their bright red color make a perfect reminder of the blood shed for freedom.

In Flanders Fields

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.

                             -Ly. Col. John McCrae

This poem is one I heard every year as a child, we often memorized it, repeated it, and heard it during assemblies. It is a beautiful reminder to me now of my freedom, of my heritage, of how I came to have the freedom, and of my duty to work hard and have faith in freedom.

In honor of Remembrance Day this year I made a printable to share with everyone. It's my text version of the poem. I wanted the first part of the poem to feel broken up as a reminder of what War is like. The challenge to us, though I wanted solid and clearly defined - showing our firm resolve to fight for and maintain our freedom.

In Flanders Field Poster

Remembrance Day Artwork

These are both 8x10" only and as with all my free shared files, these are for Personal Use Only. Please share photos of your projects made from these files in my Flickr Pool: Maggie Muggins Designs In Action.