‘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…’
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to describe the deep reverence the reading of Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae’s famous poem conferred to the sea of people gathered around the cenotaph on Remembrance Day.
It is one of those situations that can be summed up by an overused but adequate phrase: ‘you had to be there.’ The words of the poem are haunting, and the images they conjure stay alive in the hearts and minds of us all. Every single time.
I cannot not shudder as I read it (please do try to read it out loud at least once) and I cannot deny that I find myself teary every time. Though written in 1915, time has done nothing to diminish the message.
People were gathered in the thousands at Riverside Park to honour the fallen, the veterans that are still among us, the active members of Canadian Armed Forces and the emergency services personnel.