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.
– John McCrae
Today I will be attending a Remembrance Day ceremony at Victory Square in downtown Vancouver. Here is a picture of Victory Square from earlier this month when the sunset was gorgeous.The park was recently renovated as it had deteriorated to a drug-dealer hangout and a homeless camping ground. The city took six months to redo the whole park, and now it is much friendlier to spend time in. Something I just noticed recently is the top of the lampposts are actually modeled to resemble war helmets.
I’d like to share two interesting tidbits in honour of those who gave their lives for us during the war:
The first, is the poem “In Flanders Field” (excerpted above) was written by a Canadian doctor, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae. It was written upon a scrap of paper upon the back of Colonel Lawrence Moore Cosgrave, on May 3, 1915, during a lull in the bombings. The day before, John McCrae had witnessed the death of his friend Lieutenant Alexis Helmer.
The second tidbit is a bit more personal; it’s about my great grandfather. I have no grandparents left, unfortunately, but my mom tells me about her grandfather (my great grandfather) who served during both wars. He was stabbed in World War I, and lived, and then shot in World War II, and lived again.