November 11, 2014     Maggie Rodriguez

A Music Memorial



London Poppies

It is amazing how a memory can be jarred from a simple phrase, sound or song. Recently two of our staff members, Maggie Rodriguez and Tori Cook, went to the UK on a trip together. While adventuring through the more historical areas of the town, they came across a trail of poppies outside of the Tower of London. The red metallic flowers were something beautiful to see, but the true meaning behind the poppies is quite profound and tragic. As ACIS Founder and President, Peter Joness, recounts in his recent ACIS blog, these poppies “…commemorate 100 years from the beginning of WWI, London has put up a sea of ceramic poppies around the moat in the Tower of London.”

As Veteran’s Day is approaching, it’s important to reflect and memorialize our own soldiers.  In honor of our Veterans, we wanted to commemorate our gratitude with a song. We found that composer Paul A. Aiken’s haunting rendition of John McCrae’s famous poem, In Flanders Fields, which alludes to the WWI poppies, was the right fit. The dissonance shows the clamor of war and the countless sacrifices that were given.

In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae, May 1915

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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