100 years ago this month, Lt. Colonel John McCrae of the Canadian Expeditionary Force lost a friend during the Second Battle of Ypres in Belgium, in an area known as Flanders. This inspired him to write the poem "In Flanders Fields," which ends: "We shall not sleep, though poppies grow / In Flanders fields."
The poppy became an international symbol of remembrance of this war. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War, Smithsonian Gardens has planted corn poppies (papaver rhoeas). The seeds sown were, in part, collected from the Flanders Fields of Belgium.In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae, 1872 - 1918
"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 faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields." #WorldWarI #Poppies #TheGreatWar #FlandersFields