Some thoughts on Remembrance Day and the Symbol of Sacrifice.

Rearview Mirror

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The history of the Flanders poppy goes back to the time of the Great War. Red poppies were among the first signs of life to return in the devastated battlefields of northern France and Belgium. In soldiers’ folklore, the bright red colours of the poppy came from the blood of their “mates” or comrades soaking the ground. In this wonder illustration above by Harold H. Piffard, from Canada in Khaki magazine, circa 1917, red poppies are shown separating the war and peace. It is quite a striking image that was at the time of its publication, used to raise awareness of the plight of Canadian soldiers during the war, and help raise money for the Canadian War Memorial Fund.

I have no doubt that inspiration for Piffard’s The Thin Red Line came from one of the most popular and most quoted poems of the war – “In Flanders Fields”, written…

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