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.
While attending the ANZAC Day service here in Melbourne last Monday, I listened to the famous poem “In Flanders Fields” being read out to the silent crowd as we stood in the pre-dawn chill. Reflecting on the poem’s meaning, I thought back to my time in those very fields last year. The photo above was taken at the Tyne Cot War Graves Cemetery near Passendale in Belgium, the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in the world. Close to 12,000 soldiers are buried there.
If there is a greater monument to the futility of war than this gravesite and the surrounding battlefields, I haven’t found it yet.