Given that tomorrow is the centennial of the ending of the First World War, I figured I should take this opportunity to tell you why John C. McCrae typically goes by the name “Wildbow” on the internet. John McCrae is also the name of a famous Canadian poet who enlisted as a medical officer in WWI. In 1915, while mourning a fallen brother-in-arms, McCrae composed a poem entitled “In Flanders Fields” after noting how quickly poppies grew around the graves of the dead.

Allegedly unsatisfied with the poem, he crumpled it up and threw it away. Another soldier returned the poem to him and convinced him to keep working on it (again, allegedly). The poem was first published in 1915 and quickly became very popular. McCrae died of pneumonia while serving in the line of duty during January of 1918. Today, the poem is read at countless ceremonies in Canada every November the 11th. Here it is, reproduced in its entirety: 

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. 

Ironically, I only received three out of five parts (Sharks said part 4 was missing. I don’t know whether she screened part 5 for spoilers or that was missing too.), cutting off the poem from being “reproduced in its entirety”. I found the rest online, though:

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.

This really is a beautiful poem.

Happy centennial of peace from WWI, everyone.

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