This poem was written by John McCrae on May 3, 1915, after a battle in Flanders, Belgium during The Great War. This poem was the inspiration for the tradition of wearing poppies on Veteran’s Day (known as Armistice Day in Europe).

In Flanders Fields

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 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.

 Only decades later, another generation of Americans kept the faith and held high the torch of liberty.