Moved by a ‘Visit’ to Flanders Fields This Veterans Day

Written by Steve Pauwels on November 11, 2020

[Originally Posted on Daily Surge.]

This Veterans Day – an annual memorial that gets not nearly enough attention – I recommend a fresh consideration of the lyrical text below. (Tip of the hat to Erick Erickson for sending it out to his email list today.)  It’s a seasonal perennial, pretty familiar to many of us; but this morning I was stirred in a new way by its sentiments as I read it as through new eyes.

I encourage you to do so – peruse it slowly, reflectively; give yourself a moment to let what it is saying sink it.

I recited it to my wife and she teared up – admittedly, not hard to do with my sensitive bride, but still it visibly moved her; as it should all of us.

Lord, bless all those among us who’ve served America under arms that all of us might be safe and free!

In Flanders Fields

by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae

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.

Steve Pauwels is pastor of Church of the King, Londonderry, NH and host of Striker Radio with Steve Pauwels on the Red State Talk Radio Network. He's also husband to the lovely Maureen and proud father of three fine sons: Mike, Sam and Jake.