November 9, 2015

John McCrae's War - In Flanders Fields - Documentary

Video Title: John McCrae's War - In Flanders Fields - Documentary. Source: videocurios. Date Published: January 10, 2015. Description:
The life and career of John McCrae, a World War I army doctor who wrote the 20th century's greatest war memorial poem. This documentary chronicles McCrae's life from his childhood in Guelph, Ontario, to the battlefields of Belgium. It tells the story of his famous poem and pays tribute to the Canadian soldiers of World War I.

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (November 30, 1872 – January 28, 1918) was a Canadian poet, physician, author, artist and soldier during World War I, and a surgeon during the Second Battle of Ypres, in Belgium. He is best known for writing the famous war memorial poem "In Flanders Fields". McCrae died of pneumonia near the end of the war.

"In Flanders Fields" is a war poem in the form of a rondeau, 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.

It is one of the most popular and most quoted poems from the war. As a result of its immediate popularity, parts of the poem were used in propaganda efforts and appeals to recruit soldiers and raise money selling war bonds. Its references to the red poppies that grew over the graves of fallen soldiers resulted in the remembrance poppy becoming one of the world's most recognized memorial symbols for soldiers who have died in conflict. The poem and poppy are prominent Remembrance Day symbols throughout the Commonwealth of Nations, particularly in Canada, where "In Flanders Fields" is one of the nation's best-known literary works. The poem also has wide exposure in the United States, where it is associated with Veterans Day.