Jefferson Barracks Cemetery

In Flanders Fields

by John McCrae, 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 we break faith with us who die
  • We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
  • In Flanders fields.

Back in the old days — days when poetry was a school child’s requisite and patriotism not an ethical debate — the recitation of In Flanders Fieldswas a common part of Decoration Day and Veterans Day celebrations.

The poem was written by John McCrae (b. 1872), a Canadian soldier, poet and physician.

A field surgeon assigned to the French battlefields, McCrae would die of pneumonia on January 28, 1918.

Jefferson Barracks

The National Cemetery at Jefferson Barracks is pictured on this page.

Established in 1826, the cemetery is on the far south side of St. Louis, high on a bluff overlooking the Mississppi River.

Geographically, the Jefferson Barracks and National Cemetery mark the extreme north-eastern boundary of the Ozarks.

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The image of John McCrae is in public domain in the United States and Canada by the following criteria:

The image was published prior to January 1, 1923. Canada. The image was created prior to January 1, 1949. The creator of this image died more than 50 years ago.

plate 1.

John McCrae, 1915

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Grave of an unknown soldier

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Cemetery overlooking Mississippi River

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Row upon row of stones

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Photo credits: J. Heston. Location: St. Louis metropolitan area • SOTO © Archive May 5, 2009.

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