June 28, 1914

In Flanders Field the poppies grow

Between the crosses, row on row.

World War I began a hundred years ago today.  In the next four and a half years, seven million civilians and eight and a half million soldiers were killed, and twenty million were severely wounded.  And 25 years later, World War II began.

Here’s one of the northern France killing fields today:

red poppies

And here’s one of the cemeteries.  Most of the headstones are inscribed “A Soldier of the Great War, Known Only Unto God.”  There are not enough red poppies in the world for this:

mil cemetery

(Photos are from “A Conflict That Shaped the World” in today’s NYT.)

8 Responses

  1. How ironic those red blood color flowers are growing on battle field.

    Fatma Kalkan


    • That’s why they’re the flower of World War I remembrance in the UK: they’re the first things that grow back after the devastation.

      • My Mom and I were in London one year on Remembrance Day and we saved the paper poppies that were given to us. She used to place them on the Christmas tree and I have carried on the tradition.

  2. perhaps God sent the poppies to remind us of the beauty of life, and how we humans chose war over peace…

  3. All war is an illusion. Nobody really wins – somebody declares themselves a winner . Peace is developmental. You can only have peace when you are ready. You can not expect a tribal people to embrace democracy as you cannot expect a 2 month old baby to drive a car. They are not ready. We lie to our soldiers, destroy thier lives and bodies and give them a parade. How obsene.

    • By the way, democracy is not the only answer to all the problems of the world. Lack of respect for the dignity of the ‘ other’ is the reason that leads to bigger conflicts. Let us all learn the ‘GOLDEN RULE.’

  4. It seems that there will always be wars and rumors of wars. It has been that way since the first two tribes in unrecorded ancient times began to covet, invade, enslave and kill. We don’t know why this is still the way of the world and yet civilized peace is not really so rare.

  5. Keep writing your blog. I’m going to read them all.

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