In Flanders Fields
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In Canada and the United Kingdom as well as in many other countries under other names, November 11th of each year is set aside as a time of remembrance. At the 11th hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we pause to reflect on the sacrifice of those who have died in war, as well as the service of those still living.

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, physician and artilleryman, wrote a poem during a pause in the fighting in the Second Battle of Ypres to honour a friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, killed the day before.

On January 28, 1918, McCrae died of pneumonia while still serving in France. This poem is his legacy.

"In Flanders Fields"
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1. Board Game: To the Green Fields Beyond [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:4399]
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Summer grasses / All that remains / Of soldiers' dreams. - Basho.
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In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Poppies were first sold as a symbol of Remembrance by an American woman, Moina Michael, and the use of poppies was popularized in the Commonwealth by various veterans' associations.

The poppy thrives in disturbed soil and grew wild and profusely in the war-torn fields of the First World War.
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2. Board Game: Cross of Iron [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked]
Christopher O
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Between the crosses, row on row,

Although Remembrance Day is observed in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, November 11th is also commemorated by Armistice Day in France and Veteran's Day in the United States.

For New Zealand and Australia, Anzac Day, the 25th of April, carries more national significance.

For Germans, Volkstrauertag is observed two Sundays before the first of Advent, and commemorates those who died in war. It was first observed in 1952.

Defender of the Fatherland day is observed in Russia on February 23rd for similar reasons, but also highlights living servicemen.

It is common to remember one's own fallen; equally important, at least to me, is to remember the common cost to humanity in terms of lives lost and lives broken.

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3. Board Game: The Burning Blue [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:2268]
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That mark our place; and in the sky

High Flight, another beautiful commemorative poem, was written by an American serving in No. 412 RCAF squadron, John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

Like McCrae before him, Magee died before the end of the conflict that inspired the poem for which he will be remembered.
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4. Board Game: Canvas Eagles [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:3294]
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The larks, still bravely singing, fly

The song of the lark, described by many as exultant or triumphant, is often used as a symbol of joy or defiance.
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5. Board Game: The Guns of August [Average Rating:5.78 Overall Rank:8504]
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Scarce heard amid the guns below.

The First World War, set in motion by a single gunshot which toppled the creaking latticework of pre-war alliances and treaties, is often put forward as an example of needless waste of human life.

Touted by many as the "War to End all Wars" at its conclusion, the 20th century was instead witness to an even more bloody conflict in 1939.
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6. Board Game: Armies of Oblivion: ASL Module 12 [Average Rating:8.38 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.38 Unranked]
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We are the Dead. Short days ago

Death toll of the major wars of the 20th century:

First World War: 19,000,000 +
Second World War: 40,000,000 +
Korean War: 2,500,000 +
Viet Nam War: 2,500,000 +
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7. Board Game: Wings of War: The Dawn of World War II [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:1499]
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Summer grasses / All that remains / Of soldiers' dreams. - Basho.
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We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

The Twentieth Century unfortunately saw the dawn of many terrible new weapons and tactics:

Flamethrower - 1901
Armed aircraft - 1911
Chemical Weapons (choking, irritant, blister and blood agents) - 1915
Aerial bombing of civilian targets - 1915
Tank - 1916
Nerve Gas - 1936
Air-dropped Biological Agents - 1941
Napalm - 1944
Atomic Bomb -1945
Intercontinental Ballistic Missile - 1957
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8. Board Game: Grand Illusion: Mirage of Glory, 1914 [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:3515]
Christopher O
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Loved, and were loved, and now we lie

"The Grand Illusion" refers to the concept that war can have any good outcome - either to end future wars or to create political situations which are better.

It was used as the title of the classic 1937 film by Jean Renoir, considered a masterwork of cinema.
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9. Board Game: Paths of Glory [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:100]
Christopher O
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In Flanders Fields.

The title of the wargame "Paths of Glory" derives its name from a poem by Thomas Gray entitled "Elegy Written in a Country Church-yard."

This is its ninth stanza:

"The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow’r,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave,
Awaits alike th’inevitable hour.
The paths of glory lead but to the grave."
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10. Board Game: For King and Country: ASL module 5a [Average Rating:8.60 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.60 Unranked]
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Take up our quarrel with the foe:

The third stanza of McCrae's poem has been criticized for advocating a continuation of conflict - indeed, given McCrae's martial spirit and constant chafing at being reassigned from artillery to a field hospital, his intent was more likely to inspire others to continue the fight than to embrace peace.

Propaganda or memorial, the poem is powerful and not complete without a reading of the third stanza.
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11. Board Game: Valor of the Guards: ASL Historical Module Number 7 [Average Rating:8.73 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.73 Unranked]
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To you from failing hands we throw

As of 2008, the age of a man who was 18 in 1943 is 83. Average life expectancy for a male in Canada is 78; in the United States it is 75. In the next decade, we will lose the majority of our Second World War veterans who are still living to natural causes.

Your grandfather (or father, for those of an earlier generation) may not be around for much longer. Take a moment to learn about his experiences during the war years.


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12. Board Game: Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42 [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:389]
 
Christopher O
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The torch; be yours to hold it high.

The popularity of wargames comes and goes. New wargames often inject new life into an appreciation of history.

Whatever the nationality of your heroes, remember their sacrifice, and strive for a world where lives need not be lost in war again.
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13. Board Game: Korea: The Forgotten War [Average Rating:8.10 Overall Rank:2219]
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If ye break faith with us who die

Many wars and theaters of wars are relatively unknown to the general populace. Korea is given very little attention, and in North America, theaters other than Europe (or in the case of the US, the Pacific) are rarely recognized. Remember those who served in little known areas: for Canadians: the Italian Campaign, the North Atlantic and Hong Kong; for the US: North Africa, the Aleutians, China-Burma-India, and so on.
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14. Board Game: Lock 'n Load: Forgotten Heroes – Vietnam [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:2368] [Average Rating:7.40 Unranked]
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We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

Unpopular wars and peacekeeping actions never garner the attention given to the Second World War. Viet Nam looms large in the American consciousness and many of its veterans are still plagued by post-traumatic stress disorder and old injuries never quite healed.

Canadian peacekeepers who saw service in the Suez Crisis, Congo, the Middle East, Haiti, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Cyprus, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina are seldom seen as "veterans" in the classic sense, though many have been killed or wounded.

Even now, thousands of veterans of the Iraq War and Afghanistan struggle to reintegrate themselves into a society that sometimes seems unappreciative of their sacrifice.

You may dislike the war or the reasons behind it, but spare a moment for the young men and women injured in body, mind or spirit in the past five years of fighting.
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15. Board Game: In Flanders Fields [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:9355]
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In Flanders Fields.
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