Canadian physician Lt. Col. John McCrae (1872-1918) composed this iconic poem after presiding over the funeral of a friend killed at the 2nd Battle of Ypres in 1915. He died of pneumonia at the age of 45 while commanding a war hospital in Boulogne, France. The image of the red poppy is ubiquitous in the international observance of November 11 as Veteran's Day, Remembrance Day, and Armistice Day.

In Flanders fields the poppies grow,
      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.