General Musings

Remembrance Day

 

We call today Veterans Day here in the United States, it’s referred to as Remembrance Day in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Countries, some folks still like to call it Armistice Day, or even Poppy Day, but, nevertheless, the sentiment is all the same – when we all take a moment to reflect and to say a heartfelt thank you to all the brave men and women who have served and continue to serve in the armed forces, whatever country they may hail from. We’re grateful for your sacrifice!

Remembrance Day is observed on November 11 to recall the official end of World War I; hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” when Germany signed the Armistice agreement.

The use of a red poppy is a popular symbol for Remembrance Day in the UK and other Commonwealth nations. Paper poppies are sold by as part of the Royal British Legion’s annual fundraising appeal (and they look like the image above.)

The use of the poppy was inspired by the World War I poem “In Flanders Fields” by Colonel John McCrae (quoted below), which describes the fields of flowers that were the first to grow over soldiers’ graves on battlefields in Belgium and France.

If you’d like to read more on the history of the Remembrance Day poppies, this site is a great resource. If you’re in the DC area and you’d like to go get yourself one, and donate to a worthy cause at the same time, you can get one at the British Embassy’s main security gate, according to their Twitter account. (If you’re not in the DC area, check the British Embassy's full site, it’s likely that you can get one where you are, as well.)

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.

Inspector Spacetime and Cougarton Abbey: Is Being A Britophile Going Mainstream?

If you saw the season premiere of NBC's comedy Community, then you were probably pleasantly surprised to catch two references sure to bring joy to Brit lovers' hearts. Abed, Community's resident pop culture geek, is on a quest to find a new show to watch while his favorite American program is on hiatus. With some help from his friends, Abed is introduced to the joys of British television, namely two series called Cougarton Abbey and Inspector Spacetime. Sound familiar?