The history of the Flanders Region of Belgium is full of histories of battles between nations. World War I saw especially violent battles the destroyed thousands of lives.
John McCrae a soldier, poet and physician from Canada wrote poems about battles and war in his book Flanders Fields and Other Poems in 1919.
The first chapter of the book includes these lines:
“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.”
The rows upon rows of crosses were captured in this World War I photo that bears witness to the tragedy of war.