Sunday, November 6, 2011

Word of the Week: Courage

Courage can take many forms.

At this time of year, it is the courage of veterans that always comes to mind.
What would the world be like without having those who have served their countries, so bravely? Willing to sacrifice so much.

True courage. 

I thought it was such a fitting word of the week.
My small tribute to veterans.

And a classic poem I never tire of reading.
So evocative and touching.
It always brings tears to my eyes.


The red Flanders’ poppy was first described as a flower of remembrance by Colonel John McCrae (1872-1918), who was Professor of Medicine at McGill University of Canada before World War One. Colonel McCrae had served as a gunner in the Boer War, but went to France in World War One as a medical Officer with the first Canadian Contingent.

At the second battle of Ypres in 1915, when in charge of a small first-aid post, he wrote in pencil on a page torn from his despatch book:


In 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 with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.


By Major John McCrae, May 1915

Lest We Forget


Lorraine said...

Lest we forget...never ...Courage

Dianne said...

it is a beautiful poem
and so fitting for Veteran's Day

Anonymous said...

That is one my favoirite poems, too. The flowers, too, for that matter. Certain a word to remember.

Teri C said...

A beautiful post Geraldine. Just beautiful. My husband is a former Marine and he always appreciates this tribute.

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

This is a good word for this week. I think for many of us today, it is really hard to comprehend the horror of war in the trenches experienced by the very young men (really boys), especially in WW I. But somehow they found true courage to do what was needed. Some of course, suffered too much, but they didn't lack courage. What they experienced was beyond human endurance.

I found thatfiestea a book by Frances Itani, (a Canadian writer academic, and medical doctor), "Remembering the Bones", was well researched, and extremely graphic at describing the horror of WW I.

I like this poem as well, and the fact that it is written by this man who experienced the war, makes it both so authentic and valuable, I feel.


Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Oops, I'm sorry Geraldine, I see that I made a typing error again.
I meant to write that I'd read a book by Frances Itani, but somehow I typed in part of the letters for word verification.

(I think she was an R.N. not a doctor).

Wishing you a good week.

Geraldine said...

Hi Lorraine, I totally agree.

Hi Dianne, Welcome to Happy Break and thank you for your comment Dianne.

Hi SandyL, I love re-reading this poem. It always transports me to a scene of this man, writing this poem. What must have been going through his mind at the time...

Hi Teri, I hope you share my post with your DH, Teri. From my heart, the words I've written here.

Hi Brenda, It is hard to comprehend, I agree. But I'm sure the veterans who are alive and also the families of veterans appreciate what efforts people do make to remember their sacrifices. I don't think that's a book I would be able to read, just too sad. I'm haunted long after when I read something like this, but thank you for mentioning it.

Don't forget to pin on your poppy. It's a small but visual way we can say "thank you". Hugs, G

Margie said...

Always loved that poem, G.

And courage is a wonderful word for the week ...

Courage ...

If you have tried and
tried again
nor made your effort
less ...
You really have succeeded then
for courage is

Margie x

Margie said...

And thank you for the tribute to veterans, my husband is one!

Petr Mihulka said...

The poem makes my skin crawl - it is so deeply emotional and so authentic! And I have one more reason for that: I have a very personal relationship to this part of Europe (it is not far from where I live) because this is where I experienced the biggest love of my life. It is over and yet the memory of this romance remains so emotional...
Thanks for the wonderful poem and thanks for helping me remember Flanders, Geraldine.

Joseph said...

We should never forget those who have served their countries, so selflessly. This is true courage. A beautiful tribute here.

SandyCarlson said...

You give me heart and leave me speechless. Thank you.

Geraldine said...

Hi Margie, Thank you for your poem here, how true. I'm glad you enjoyed this WOTW.

Hi Petr, Thank you for sharing this touching, eloquent story. And how interesting you live so close to Flanders Field.

Hi Joe, Thanks dear.

Hi SandyC, Your comment made my morning, thanks friend.

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Hi, Geraldine,
I'm wondering if youur area was hit by the winter storm. I heard that power was out in some places.
Hope all is well.

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