If Ye Break Faith with Us who Die...

Happy Armistice Day, Remembrance Day or Veterans Day, according to whether you're in Europe, the Commonwealth or America. Our observances begin with an entry from the Mark Steyn Club anthology of video poetry - the only choice for this day:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row...

Those words are by John McCrae, physician, soldier and sometime poet. He did not live to see the end of the Great War, but he issued the famous challenge to those who did:

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep...

Just to get the obvious out of the way, in the laughably misnamed United Kingdom, they have broken faith with those who died. Courtesy of my former colleague Laurence Fox, we learn that on this Armistice Day the uniform in which Lieutenant-Colonel McCrae gave his life for King and Empire cannot be worn in public in certain parts of the UK because, er, diversity is our strength:

"Sadly we will not be parading at Bradford" - because, um, the rate of cousin marriage is now too high. "However cadets can attend as a member of the public and must NOT wear any uniform" - unless it's under your burqa. On this Armistice Day, the nation that built the modern world is as dead as poor John McCrae. Old soldiers never die; they just become inconvenient to The Narrative.

In this video I discuss the background to Lieutenant-Colonel McCrae's poem, and recite it, in front of a live audience from America, Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and beyond at the Royal Canadian Navy's home port of Halifax, Nova Scotia on the 2018 Mark Steyn Cruise. To watch "In Flanders Fields", prefaced by my introduction, please click above.

Among the pleasures of Mark Steyn Club membership is that you can enjoy our TV content in any medium you desire: video, audio or text. So, if you'd rather sample the above in non-visual form, that can be found here.

Tomorrow we'll have another cultural artifact from the Great War in our Song of the Week.

Steyn's Sunday Poem is a special production of The Mark Steyn Club.