Monday, 11 November 2013

Lest we Forget


Lest we Forget.

This year we grew the Flanders red poppy seeds that we brought back from the Capital War Memorial last year.

These are a couple of pics of our first poppy from the plants that grew.

There has been a consistent bloom of poppies for months.

Brother Bear even brought some in for news. Apparently he had a great deal to say, his friends were quite enthralled, so I am told.


Today we picked Poppies in the pouring rain, along with some rosemary. We tied them with twine and the kiddos each laid a posy on our local war memorial.

Do you pause to remember on Remembrance day?

Do you bake or make something special?

10 comments:

  1. Impossible not to remember when living in the middle of Flanders Fields. In fact, there are few days we're not reminded of it but remembering is something different still. We will never forget.
    Your poppies are so beautiful!
    Marian

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Marian. In the middle of Flanders field? That must be spectacular, When are the Poppies in bloom there?

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    2. There's not really anything spectacular about it.There are military cemeteries everywhere though, even on the least expected places. It was strange to me when I first came to live here, as I didn't grow up in a place where the connection with the first WW is so very present(I had visited cemeteries and other sites that were kept as a remembrance of the war but I didn't live in the middle of it, even if the place I lived was also part of the battlefield back then. My grandmother told me about it, she was a child during the first WW and had her own children during the second WW. In the first WW she and her family had to flee to Balen in Limburg, that's on the other side of Belgium, all the way to the East, where there was no battlefield, it was under German occupation).
      I've written about several of the military cemeteries my blog before. The largest one here is Lyssenthoek, it is so overwhelming when you go there, but every cemetery is. That war and the terror it brought will never be forgotten and it shouldn't be either. Recently I visited Talbot house and there you learn how the effect of the war was on the people living here in Poperinge, so not from the soldier's point of view(that you can see in Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres) and it is unbelievable to read and see and hear how that was and how they managed to survive.
      The poppies here bloom in late spring and all summer but there aren't really poppy fields, as the soil is now used again for agriculture. Poppies are the symbol of remembrance though.It was the only flower still able to bloom during the war when all the land was battlefield and ripped open due to that.That"s how it became the symbol of remembrance, a beautiful symbol think, known by everyone. Those 'fields', now used again by people to build on or to work the soil, have so many leftovers of the war, not only bullets but also much dangerous mines or bombs that haven't exploded yet. There have been many farmers and other people victim of such a mine or bomb in the years after the war until now even. Yesterday I heard of someone who had to dig in his garden to put new cables of some sort under the ground and they hit a mine. All digging work had to be stopped and DOVO, a specialised service for such things, had to come to make it unharmful and remove it.
      Marian

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    3. Well of course! time is progress, I let the 'Fields' in Flanders Fields conjure a vast expanse stretching to the horizon. With the memorials in your photographs only in the towns. But such is my imagination.
      I am actually shocked that we never really hear (well here anyway) about mines still being found in Belgium. Seems almost unfathomable, or restricted to countries recovering from recent wars, but of course real as ever.
      Thank you Marian :)

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    4. I found this article from some years ago on the internet and in English:http://rense.com/general47/50000lbWW1bomb.htm.
      And this might be an interesting read about it as well: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_harvest

      Marian

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    5. And more: http://farmfutures.com/blogs-the-bombs-below-flanders-fields-1286

      and http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2013/s3742976.htm

      These articles must give you a good idea.
      About the war cemeteries. There are cemeteries in towns but also in the fields, surrounded by farmland or even woods or a forest. The cemeteries may be part of the place I live, they will never seize to affect me so much whenever I visit one. And it is good to pause and remember and never forget.

      Thank you for your replies to my comment,
      Marian


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    6. Well, maybe a last article because it's so recent (nov 10 2013) and there are so many pictures added, even I was astonished to see this.
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2497732/The-iron-harvest-Meet-soldiers-tasked-clearing-hundreds-tonnes-deadly-World-War-I-shells-mines-beneath-fields-Flanders.html

      Promise this is it ;)
      Marian

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    7. Thank you! Well, that's a bit scary...but obviously not for the farmer living next to the largest unexploded mine 80 foot deep under his barn?!
      Also it's crazy that the DOVO have to remind tourist not to take home any found items...can you imagine travelling home with some live munitions? No.Thanks.
      I had a great time reading those papers, so many photos both during the war and now.
      It is quite terrible to read that there is still at least one fatality every year.
      Thanks again Marian

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  2. I really love your inspirational idea of planting the poppies and picking them with the rosemary. Obviously the kids appreciate the importance too.

    I also appreciated Marian's comments. My grandfather was stationed in Poperinghe in WW1 as he was with the railway forces.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Pauleen, I know the kiddos enjoy the poppies, I guess its just a matter of bringing their significance to light as their understanding grows.
      I love how so many people know where their family was stationed throughout the war, we are still waiting for files to be opened so that we can learn more too.

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