November 11 – Remembrance Day

The poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ by Canadian soldier, John McCrae, was used to recruit people to war.

Government advertised war bonds using its lyrics to raise funds for war.

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”

Yet choirs around the world still sing this song on Remembrance Day.


The line quoted on the poster, If ye break faith with us who die, uses a gambler’s reasoning:

If we don’t commit more, then the loss we have already sustained will be meaningless.

War iconography, including remembrance ceremonies and symbols, serves this dubious purpose.

Have you noticed the practice  by some Australian politicians at this time of year of wearing the red poppies on camera?

At the time McCrae wrote ‘In Flanders fields’ in the trenches, Australian Prime Minister Billy Hughes tried to introduce conscription.

This was defeated at referendum by the Australian people (not once, but twice).

Ian Curr
11 November 2012

One thought on “November 11 – Remembrance Day

  1. Red poppies are sewn into the jersey’s of premier league football players.
    Initially it may have been a “never again” anti-war statement but now the government has hijacked the symbol and the day to promote present and future wars.
    Veterans for Peace UK on poppy madness

    Sunderland’s James McClean refuses to wear poppy on remembrance day

    Previous Celtic fan protest of “bloodstained poppies on the hoops”

    Ciaron O’Reilly

    “The poor tell us who we are,
    The prophets tell us who we could be,
    So we hide the poor,
    And kill the prophets.”
    Phil Berrigan

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