Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day

It used to be called Armistice Day, until 1954. I saw this poem by an anonymous writer on the New York Times today:

Politicians talk about the need of it,
Old men boast about the glory of it,
And the soldiers just want to go home.
Many of my blogging friends have already posted their contribution for this day. I have been thinking about my own veterans and family who are currently on active duty. I don't know exactly what to call my son, whose birthday would have been yesterday. He was serving in the Army when he died, so I guess he would technically be called a veteran, although he would have made a career of the Army if he had lived. I have a niece and nephew who are now serving in the Army. My dad and brother are both veterans.

I looked up the word "veteran" to see if it applies also to those currently serving in the Armed Forces. I'm still not sure. All over the world people throughout the ages have lived and died for a cause. For some reason, I keep thinking about the line in the old Cat Stevens song that talks about "dancing on this earth for a short while," which is true for all of us, both those who live long and glorious lives, and those who die young.
Oh very young
what will you leave us this time
you're only dancing on this earth
for a short while
and though your dreams may toss
and turn you now
they will vanish away
like your daddy's best jeans
denim blue fading up to the sky
and though you want them to last
forever you know they never will
you know they never will 

and the patches
make the goodbye harder still

Maybe the very young will figure out how to have a world without war and strife. I can only hope so, because I think about all those who were cut short in the arc of their life just to die in a war, mostly young men in their prime of life.


  1. A most fitting and heartfelt tribute. A very personal one for you, I wish I could give you a hug, so consider it done...
    It's always an emotional day for me, happy because today's my birthday, yet I can't seem to justify the celebrating, because it falls on a day, that runs so much deeper than mentioning my birthday.
    I will always be indebted to the brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice, and enable us to sleep peacefully in our beds at night.
    God Bless then all.

  2. I cannot speak for the lump in my throat, I cannot see for the tears in my eyes...your tribute is truly touching.

  3. It's good to remember the fallen, and the otheres who served and lived to tell about it. To have served is such a high honor. So very sorry to hear of your son's passing while serving. I would certainly call him a Veteran.

  4. I would call him a Veteran. I'm so sorry for your loss. Inadequate words, I know. Even if they are a little late, I'm sending warm thoughts your way.
    It seems strange to me that we take a day to honor those who have given so much so that we need't change our lives at the same time we send more and more men and women to sacrifice some more. And how sad that so many actually need a day set aside to remember to give thanks; we take so much for granted.

  5. I agree. Your son passed away while serving his country. What a sacrifice for him, and for all those who loved him.

    Very touching post, DJan. Thank you.

  6. I would not call your son a veteran. I would call him a hero.

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful post with us.

  7. Oh DJ, you made me teary eyed this time. I know how you feel and I think you're not son couldn't be called veteran, I agree with Lily, he is a hero to you and to the American people.


  8. DJ,

    I am so sorry...You leave me without sufficient words...Your post is breathtaking... raw... authentic...and touched me deeply...And since I am at a loss for words, I will simply say, "Yes, your son is a hero. And I am grateful to both of you for your sacrifice, and for your perseverance through such personal tragedy in order to secure our prayers for peace. God bless you...and May He bless us all with peace!!!" Love to you, my dear friend!!! ~Janine XO

  9. Oh I love that you posted Cat Stevens instead of the usual war-y poems.

    What a beautiful tribute.

    And yes, a brave solider/soul.


  10. A beautiful and touching post. Not only do the servicemen and women sacrifice, but their loved ones do too.
    Thanks for this heartfelt tribute.

  11. A very moving piece DJan, you have left me speechless with this heartfelt post. A powerful tribute to all of our veterans.

  12. A few very difficult days for you this past week..of course your son was a Veteran..anyone that puts that uniform on is.. and they are all heroes! Very nice tribute:)


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