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Canadian poet John McCrae was a surgeon in World War I. On December 8, 1915, he published this poem to commemorate the deaths of thousands of young men who died in Flanders during the grueling battles there.

Flanders covered southern Belgium and northwest France.)

Legend has it that he was inspired by seeing the blood-red poppies blooming in the fields where many friends had died. This poem was used as a recruiting tool during World War I.

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.

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