Adventures of a Modern Day, Middle-Aged Hero, on the Glory Road(to family security)


Wisdom from Linus

Actually, the wisdom is from John McCrae, a Canadian Army Surgeon, written following the death of one of his friend, and former student at the 2nd Battle of Ypres, in May of 1915. 

There is some debate among folks who haven't read the whole poem about whether 'In Flanders Field' is an anti-war poem.  All you have to do is read the third stanza to realize that is not even close to the truth.  The fact that Linus doesn't recite the end of the poem, and instead repeats the opening might have led to this belief.

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.      

Quite the opposite of anti-war.  If not pro-war, it at least was boldly in support of The Cause, rallying troops to continue the fight, and put an end to the Kaiser.  Lieutenant Colonel McCrae himself was often dismissive of his position as a surgeon, going as far to tell one of his superiors  'Allinson, all the goddamn doctors in the world will not win this bloody war: what we need is more and more fighting men'.

And a fighter he was...McCrae had previously served a stint in the artillery during the 2nd Boer War. 

Mr. McCrae was not killed in combat, but he did die during the war, of pneumonia, during January of 1918.  The fact that he did not die in combat does not make him any less a hero, or figure to be honored.  He volunteered, and he was more than willing.

1 comment:

  1. He volunteered, and was more than willing.

    Wise words indeed. Thank you for remembering one of those good men, that too often go unremembered.