• “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Dr. Suess

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


In Canada Poppies,
such as pictured here,
were produced
 by Veterans and are worn
each November 11
In Flander's 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 sunsets glow, loved and were loved
but now we lie in Flander's 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 those who die
We shall not sleep
Though poppies blow in Flander's Fields.

Learned in school, retrieved from memory when my sister posted this image of a poppy on her Facebook profile, and far from perfect but nevertheless a part of who I am.

My grandparent's oldest son, like so many others, did not return from World War II. Every year on Remembrance Day (known in the United States as Veteran's Day) our school class would walk to the Cenotaph to hear and see the program conducted there to honor those from our small town whose names were written on the stone marker commemorating their ultimate sacrifice - they would never return.

Photo taken by Rex Forsyth about 1933 

We were taught to remember: to 'take up the quarrel with the foe'.

In October 2001 Genreal Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke about 'The Times In Which We Live'.  He said, "We are people of peace. We are followers of the Christ who was and is the Prince of Peace. But there are times when we must stand up for right and decency, for freedom and civilization, just as Moroni rallied his people in his day to the defense of their wives, their children, and the cause of liberty." Alma 48: 10 He also asked us to each examine ourselves and turn in prayer and repentance to God and plead his help.

As I read the story of Moroni I wonder where my 'weakest' fortification is and how I may strengthen it.  What battles do I need to fight? greed? self indulgence? sincerity? service? Perhaps my greatest need is in small things:  less food and more exercise, less idleness and more diligence - [did I cast a valid vote?], and especially less disregard and more kind words and thoughts - to you, my immediate family and friends.

I remember standing with my father at the Cenotaph, at various times, tracing the raised brass names with my fingers and questioning the whys and ways of war.  My father answered.  I learned war is a terrible thing but there are things worth fighting for - even to the death.  He honored those who had.

My oldest brother is named for dad's oldest brother.

May we all seek peace first.

And may we never forget.