Saturday, November 7, 2009

Veterans Day - World War One Soldiers Remembered

When my grandmother passed away in 1975, I collected a metallic shaving mirror inscribed with a sergeant's name. The sergeant was her fiance. His mother sent her the mirror after he was killed in action during the Great War, which we now call World War One.

My grandmother later married a veteran of the Great War, an immigrant from Denmark. (I still have his dog tags.) For his service to his country, my grandfather earned his US citizenship.

My mother said her father talked little about the devastation of the mustard gas that he had witnessed or his life in the trenches, which affected his legs for the next 50 years. It was an experience he wished to put behind him.

This Veterans Day, in memory of the World War One soldiers like my grandfather and my grandmother's first fiance, the following scene is my tribute to their sacrifices as well as the sacrifices of all the men and women who serve their country.

One BBC comedy that I have enjoyed is Blackadder, whose four seasons span various periods of English history. The last season, Blackadder Goes Forth, is set during the Great War. After three weary years in the trenches, the British soldiers finally get the order to "go over the top."

According to BBC news, "The poignant finale of sitcom Blackadder has been voted the best farewell episode of a TV series."

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 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.

- Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

Other links from

In Flanders Fields
(tribute of music and images set to the words of the poem above.)

Over There: Remembering WWI
("Vintage Antique Classics" presents "Over There" patriotic music by George M. Cohan, sung by early 20th century Pop sensation Bill Murray.)

photos from
photo of poppies


  1. All you world war one soldiers will definitely be remembered. All your hard work will not go to waste. Thanks for bringing us peace.

  2. Thank you for stopping by and remembering. My grandfather was a vet.