Sunday, November 8, 2009

Remembrance Sunday - Veteran's Day

Today is Remembrance Sunday... the Sunday closest to November 11th, which in the United States is Veteran's Day. It is a time that commemorate the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and of civilians in times of war, specifically since the First World War. It is observed on November 11th to recall the end of World War I on that date in 1918. (World War I was formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.)

We just returned from London where we witnessed preparations for today. Paper poppies were being worn by many people and on Friday we saw the preparations for the unveiling of a new military statue in Trafalgar Square.
We also saw this protest against war being staged in the park next to Westminster Cathedral and the British Parliament Building.

Today in Rome there was a large exhibition of the Italian military in the Circus Maximus. It included displays from all branches of the country's armed services. The ruins of homes of Roman emperors on the Palatine Hill are in the background.
The use of a poppy for Remembrance Day is from the Canadian poem "In Flanders Fields." Poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I and their red color is an appropriate symbol for the bloodshed of war.

This is a field of poppies in Puglia.
In the background are olive trees, symbols of peace!

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.
— Lt.-Col. John McCrae (1872 - 1918)


Bill B said...

Larry, great post and photos... thank you for helping us remember those who have given their lives in war, so we may live in peace!

Gerry said...

Thank you so much for the tour of London. I love visiting your blog. I wish I could see these places in person but at least I can see them here.

Love Ya