In Flanders Fields

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.

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— Lt. Col. John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

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In memory of Cpl. Bert Whitehurst (1895-1918)

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Bert Whitehurst would have been my great-uncle. From “Livingston County in the World War”:

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Bert-225x300WHITEHURST, BERT, Pontiac, Illinois. Born April 14, 1895, Yale, Illinois. Farmer. Inducted September 19, 1917, Pontiac, Illinois. To Camp Dodge, Iowa. Pvt., Co. I, 349 Inf. Transferred to Co. H, 346 Inf., Camp Pike, October 26, 1918 ; to Camp Merritt, March 28, 1918. Promoted to Cpl. Sailed from Hoboken, New Jersey, April 6, 1918, on lit. Vernon. Landed at Brest, France, April 28, 1918. Transferred to Co. D, 123 Inf., May 6, 1918. Engagements: Chateau Thierry, July 18, 1918 ; St. Mihiel, September 12, 1918 ; Argonne Forest, October 23, 1918. Wounded October 27, 1918, Argonne Forest ; to Evac. Hosp., Glorieux ; died of wounds, November 7, 1918, at Glorieux.

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He’s buried at Butler National Cemetery in Springfield. I’ve always found it haunting that he went through so many engagements and died so close to the end. He’s become a personal connection to that war.

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