Armistice Day • 100 Years
I spent a few hours today meditating on the music and poetry of The War to End War. In some ways WWI seems so long ago, and yet 100 years is fleeting — a mere blink in time. And the deaths of 8.5 million soldiers (and an estimated 13 million civilians) can not be forgotten. Nearly 22 million people died in four years of brutal warfare.
So I spent time today listening to music of and about WWI, and I made poppies. The poppies are printed with the text of Britten’s War Requiem — poems woven together with the words of the mass for the dead. The poem written across the page is John McCrae’s brilliant “In Flanders Fields.” And this is all layered upon the pages of the gospel of Luke 2: 29-32, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace.”
But it is the MaCrae’s call which keeps running through my head...
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.
To read the entirety of “In Flanders Fields,” visit Poets.org.