Remembrance Day: Remembering those who died

Nearly one million ceramic poppies fill the Tower of London moat, marking the centenary of World War I. The temporary poppy display has drawn huge crowds for British-named Armistice Day, as each of the 888,246 ceramic flowers represents a British service member killed in the Great War.

British Prime Minister David Cameron visited the site Saturday, saying it had become a “much loved and respected monument.”

In Canada, Remembrance Day is a tribute to all military deaths as well as a celebration of the Canadian Forces. It was initially referred to as Armistice Day for the ceasefire agreement of November 11, 1918, that ended a more than four-year battle.

In 1931, Armistice Day was renamed Remembrance Day in Canada. The red poppy of Remembrance Day, which has become the day’s universal symbol, is linked to the First World War and its casualties from John McCrae’s poem, In Flanders Fields.

 poppoes

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.

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