History is our Lesson

Normandy Graves

In Flanders Fields

Flanders Poppy on the First World War battlefields.
by John McCrae, May 1915

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.

Inspiration for the poem

Flanders poppies

Having read John McCrae’s poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ Moina Michael made a personal pledge to ‘keep the faith’. She felt compelled to make a note of this pledge and hastily scribbled down a response entitled β€œWe Shall Keep the Faith” on the back of a used envelope. From that day she vowed to wear a red poppy of Flanders Fields as a sign of remembrance.

We Shall Keep the Faith

by Moina Michael, November 1918

Moina Michael

Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet – to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.

We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.

And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.

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