Today is Remembrance Day in Canada, Armistice Day or Veterans Day elsewhere. Marking the end of the First World War, the date has come to commemorate the fallen of war in general. This year is a strange one, with Covid-19 restricting so much else, including commemoration.
John McCrae was a Canadian officer, soldier, poet, and doctor who went to the fields of Europe, fought, suffered, and saw death in the First World War. Out of his experiences came arguably the definitive poem of that War, one that still holds its power today.
Canadian artist Ruth Abernethy is known for her sculptures, including a matching pair of sculptures of John McCrae. One is in his home town of Guelph, Ontario. The other is in Ottawa, seen here in pictures from my photoblog taken in 2016. It is set on Green Island, where the Rideau River meets the Ottawa River, and in a park setting where there are other military monuments. Abernethy renders her subject larger than life but approachable, capturing the expression and humanity of the person. Here McCrae is sitting, a copy of his poem in his hand, with poppies at the base of the sculpture.