Their parents drove them to the cemetery

because they wanted their family to see…

to understand the price…the cost

for them to all live free. 


As the rain fell softly their parents explained

how it wasn’t really rain…

but the tears of all who loved them

falling back to earth again.


On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 our country stood defended .

That is the day peace returned to the world…the day the war to end all wars had ended.


It became known as Armistice Day and in 1919…took it’s place in our country’s lore

until the name was changed to Veterans Day…in 1954.


They defended our country in the air, on the sea, on the ground, on foot…and in tanks

and since 1918 we’ve been trying to show our gratitude…trying to show our thanks.


So how do we thank those who served and are serving for paying such a burdensome price…

How do we thank our veterans…for their service and sacrifice?


We can smile, pat them on the back…shake their hands…let them know we’re safer than before…

and though thanking them is wonderful…as a country…we must do more.


We must read our constitution…we could write a veteran a note…

thanking him or her for their service and telling them we’ll vote…


Telling them we’ll get involved and on the next election day…

we’ll ensure the rights they fought for on the battlefield…will never be taken away.


When we send our soldiers off to war…when we ask them to attack…

we must guarantee they will be taken care of when they finally make it back…


We must do everything in our power…all their needs…it’s up to us to meet…

No veteran who has fought for their country should end up living on the street!


Men and women, black and white, their genders…don’t ask…don’t tell

It matters not their labels when we send them off to hell.


In fact when they sign up for our military…when we send them into enemy fire,

when they put their lives on the line for us…SOLDIER is the only label they require.


When we send them off to fight…when all over the world they scatter

wouldn’t it be nice to know when they return…their other labels do not matter.


We must never forget their sacrifice or what they’re fighting for…

and it’s up to us to help heal their wounds and the scars they incur in war.


Perhaps living a life that is meaningful…and teaching our children how to live


on this Veterans Day (and every day) is the best thanks we can give.

View joy's Full Portfolio