Friday, November 11, 2005

New banner - Armistice or Remembrance day

I've changed the banner to one marking Armistice day.
The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month is a time of two minutes of silence in honour of the fallen soldiers ; initially of world war 1 and then extended to remember the dead of other wars.

Poppies naturally grow in disturbed soil and of course they seemed as if they had sprung from the blood of the dead - bright red flowers in a sea of mud churned up by the warfare.

They came to be used as symbols of remembrance , inspired by the famous poem 'In Flanders Fields' by John McCrae a Canadian doctor who ran a field hospital during the second Battle of Ypres colloquially called Wipers by the english-speaking troops. Unfortunately John McCrae died of pneumonia and meningitis early in 1918 before the war ended.

Now the poppies are often made of paper and worn or laid in wreaths at the war memorials on the 11th of November. In Britain, paper poppies are sold in the run up to Remembrance day in order to raise funds for vetrans.

On Armistice day i like to re-read Wilfred Owen's poetry. His words sum up the horror of war in poems such as Dulce Et Decorum Est which is probably the best known of all war poetry.
Owen's war experiences left him shell shocked and he was sent to Criaglockhart in Scotland to recuperate. He was later sent back to the warzone and he died just a week before Armistice day on the 4th November 1918.

1 comment:

Emily said...

Great post, Alison. Also, enjoyed rereading Owens poem.

We need more poets to tell the truth and esp. first hand experiences.