Monday, May 26, 2008

Words to Remember

Mission Possible Monday
by Carla Gade

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row . . .

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep,
though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

The infamous poem, "In Flanders Fields", written by Major John McCrae, M.D. of the Canadian Army was almost never published, though today it remains one of the most memorable war poems of all time. The doctor penned the piece follow a traumatic 17 day battle in Ypres Salient near Belgium at the end of World War 1.

Although the prose was significant to his own experience, McCrae did not feel it merited sharing and tossed it away. A fellow officer retrieved the poem and sent it to The Spectator in London, whom rejected it. This non-official agent of McCrae sent it out once again to Punch who published it in December 1915.

In 1918 an American who was working in the YMCA Overseas War Secretaries' headquarters during its annual conference came across McCrae's poem while flipping through a copy of the Ladies Home Journal. She was so moved by it that she composed her own in response. Her tribute, entitled "We Shall Keep the Faith", honored the soldiers who died in the service of her own country.

Then Moina conceived the idea to wear red poppies as a symbol of rememberance on Memorial Day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She invested the $10 stipend from the conference to purchase 25 poppies which she sold to benefit servicemen in need. This tradition is continued to this day by the VFW and has spread to other countries around the word.

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.

To Consider:

What thought-filled words of yours could have an enduring impact and inspire others? You won't know until you share them.

Do you recognize the value of another's writings? Encourage them today.

As writers we can use our gift of words to encourage and bless the families of service men and women who have lost loved ones or are serving in the armed forces now. Share the message of hope.

Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them."
Revelation 14:13

Carla Gade is an aspiring writer, avid reader, adult literacy tutor, and website developer. She is the Program Coordinator for a Literacy Volunteers organization and is active in women's ministries. Carla writes inspirational fiction and non-fiction. Visit her online at Carla's Pathways ~ Journaling the Journey.


Eileen Astels Watson said...

Beautifully said! And encouragement is a great way to share God's love.

Catherine West said...

I've always enjoyed writing poetry, but I've never put any of it out there for the public to see! It's mostly an outlet for me, as what comes is usually deeply emotional and writing it in this form is a healing thing for me. The last piece I wrote that really had a profound impact on me and those I shared it with, was about six pages long, chronicling my journey to find my birthmother and my sister. I still can't read it through without tearing up, and I hope I will always have that reaction. It was a testimony to God's faithfulness to me in a very difficult time.

Carla Gade said...

The real value in writing is truly what it means to the writer. It is a special gift though if we can share those words with others, in print, or even from the insights we personally gain in the process. I find that writing helps me to better formulate and articulate my thoughts verbally, as well.

carla stewart said...

Lovely post, Carla. I'm one of those who loves the Flanders Field poem. Thanks for the reminder.