At the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, hostilities for the most horrific war in human history up to that point were scheduled to end.
Then known as The Great War (for who could imagine another conflict that was even more horrific was coming?) it changed the popular image of war as something glorious to something bathed in sweat, mud, and blood.
The poppy became a symbol of those who had sacrificed their all to conflict. It became that symbol from a poem, “In Flanders Fields,” written by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, a Canadian physician.
Soldiers throughout history have written and continue to write, struggling to show the inexperienced a glimpse into war’s character — and aftermath.
I introduced my readers to the Veteran’s Writing Project and its online journal, O-Dark-Thirty, in May. For a modern take on the war dead, you can read the recently published “Valor” by Cameron Filas there.
Veterans Day (November 11 in the United States, formerly known as Armistice Day) is on Wednesday. When you buy a poppy from a veteran, remember those who have fallen through the voices of those who have served.