At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month at 11:00 a.m. on November 11, 1918, World War I formally ended with the signing of Armistice between the Allied troops and Germany. Thus, on November 11, each year, we commemorate Armistice Day, now commonly known as Veterans Day to honor those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
[Compared to Memorial Day (which is an annual federal holiday in the U.S., observed nationwide on the last Monday of May to honor all of our deceased or fallen Service men and women), Veterans Day became an official legal holiday to honor all of our U.S. veterans, past and present.]
To all veterans of war and peace, Thank you for your service and sacrifices. To those who are no longer with us, “May they rest in peace. Amen.”
On this Veterans Day, here’s a poetic tribute to all of our veterans:
Victorious veterans/ Of yesterday and today/ Who fought for freedom/ Peace and prosperity/ Life and liberty/ Who served proudly with dignity/ Yet, survived and succeeded/ To win victory for our country For the whole humanity---/We’re so proud of you!
You served and volunteered/ To protect and to defend/ Our nation, our Constitution/ Our people our world/ With so much love/ Pride and patriotism/ Valor and vigilance/ And you survived/ The scars and scourge/ The atrocities and bitterness/ Of war---big or small/ In Vietnam and Korea/ Granada and Panama/ In the Middles East/ And other crises---/ National and international…
The experiences and memories/ In those battlefields/ Concentration camps/ And war zones/ And of our beloved ones.../ They can never be forgotten/ For as long as you live, /For as long as memories linger/ On and on, ad infinitum/ Valiant veterans/ Hailed and honored/ Revered and respected/ Recognized and remembered/ Today, always, and forever.
On this very special day/ A memorable Veterans Day/ We salute you/ And thank you so much/
Veterans of all times; / For your courage and dedication/ For your service and devotion/ To our people and our nation./ We proudly honor you/ The unsung heroes of war and peace/ Of the past and the present/ The ideal and inspiration/ Of all generations/ Of all times!
“Gone But Not Forgotten…”
Like us, you had dreams/ Loafty goals and ambitions/ Visions and missions/ For a better life-world.
You volunteered to serve/ To protect and to defend/ Our freedom and our liberty/ Our nation and the Constitution/ With hope and honor/ Pride and power/ Valor and vigilance/ Without fear and reservation.
You endured the pain/ Sun, wind, snow, and rain/ And you enjoyed the game/ Of love, life, and fame. / You endured the agony/ Of a war-torn country;/You suffered tremendously/ To the end…
You left us everything / But images and memories---/ Dusty ribbons and uniforms/ Faded jeans and shirts/ Letters and photographs/ All to cherish and treasure.
Gone but not forgotten/ You---our unsung heroes/ Of war and peace---/ Our inspiration in life/ Today, yesterday and tomorrow!
-CHRIS A. QUILPA, a retired U.S. Navy veteran, lives in Suffolk. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Published in the award-winning Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, November 9, 2014. For more information, visit www.suffolknewsherald.com.