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A red flower to remember

Poppy in a field.
Photo: DND

Bonfire Jr.

When we decided our Heritage Fair project would be about the “Road to Peace,” I immediately knew what object I would contribute—a bright red poppy, the best-known flower of remembrance. It seemed a perfect way to honour my ancestor, Bonfire the horse, and his friend, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. They served together in Europe during the First World War when John was a medical officer with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He tragically lost a close friend during a battle in 1915 and was inspired to write In Flanders Fields. This moving poem refers to the little red flowers that grew among the soldiers’ graves. Sadly, John died in January 1918. He was one of the over 66,000 brave Canadians who gave their lives in this brutal conflict.

This year is very special, as the world will mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War on November 11, 2018. Around the globe, people will wear a poppy to show they respect those who served and died in the cause of peace and freedom. I will bow my head during the moment of silence and will remember the famous words Lieutenant-Colonel McCrae wrote: “In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow, between the crosses, row on row….”
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