Le Dormeur du val by Arthur Rimbaud was inspired by the war Franco-Prussian, particularly the battle of Sedan:
Les parfums ne font pas frissonner sa narine ;
Il dort dans le soleil, la main sur sa poitrine
Tranquille. Il a deux trous rouges au côté droit.
(Arthur Rimbaud, Le Dormeur du val, octobre 1870)
Years later another poem was the inspiration behind the Remembrance Poppy called “In Flanders Fields” is a war poem written during the First World War by Canadian physician Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae. He was inspired to write it on May 3, 1915, after presiding over the funeral of friend and fellow soldier Alexis Helmer, who died in the Second Battle of Ypres. According to legend, fellow soldiers retrieved the poem after McCrae, initially dissatisfied with his work, discarded it. “In Flanders Fields” was first published on December 8 of that year in the London-based magazine Punch.
This year it will be the commemoration of the 100th year.
What make the day so prominent in the UK?
The day is an important charity event that provides financial, social, political and emotional support to those who have served or who are currently serving in the British Armed Forces, and their dependents. I collected over the years enough poppies and pins out of influence by such day.
Branding of Simplicity
It is all about the fragile poppy flower, presented in a simple form, recognizable and revered with a culture of high respect, which sometime goes a bit far and often it is an issue of political correctness, that may strike public outcry.
Many days of remembrance in many society and cultures are often associated with sadness, but in UK it is to honor the day with joy that the fallen will always be loved, the kids contribute in the making of the poppies as volunteers, 30 millions poppy is produced every year.
Mission and Objective
The remembrance day doesn’t only focus on a particular era or time, it is expending to cover the effort of the past and the future. The day will never fade, the audience feel it is a day that cover many aspects of the sacrifice.
And that is the part that makes it memorable and I conclude this post with the poem of Colonel John McCrae and the Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red installation in the Tower of London where 888,246 poppies were displayed in the most moving art work to remember every fallen soldier in the war.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
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.