Only One Day (A Poem)

by StevenHelmer

A poem written in honor of our military veterans in observance of Veteran's Day.

I woke up this morning and, glancing at my calendar, was reminded it was Veteran's Day. As a former Army brat myself (both of my parents, at one point, served and my dad spent the majority of his life in the military), I was quick to show my respect by putting out my American flag and taking a few moments to post a "thank you" on Facebook.
But, as I did this, I also realized, knowing what I do about the sacrifices these men and women make, whether it is putting their lives on the line or being thousands of miles away from their families, I felt a little unfulfilled and began wondering if maybe we spend too much time focusing on just this one day each year and not enough time remembering to thank those who have served whenever we have the opportunity to do so. This realization inspired this short poem.

My Poem

Is only one day really enough

To remember their sacrifice?

When we consider the many freedoms that were protected for us

24 hours just doesn’t seem enough to suffice.

Setting aside only one day each year

For the men and women who chose to serve and to fight.

Just doesn’t seem all that fair.

You can't tell me it is right.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

They left their loved ones miles behind

So they could put their own lives on the line fighting in wars.

How can only one day

Be enough to truly show respect for all their scars?

Many came back home broken

Leaving pieces of their bodies and souls on the battlefield.

It's hard to believe only one day

Is proper respect for those who still have not yet seen their wounds heal.

Can we really say a few moments of silence

On only one day each year

Is really enough to thank those who bravely tread

In places many of us would shy away from in fear?

D-Day Landing
D-Day Landing
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Can it really be true,

That only one day during the second week of  November

Is sufficient enough

For us to say “we remember?”

When we think about all the things they have done.

How they have protected the things we hold dear.

Only one day just isn’t good enough,

When we should be thanking them every day of the year.

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Updated: 11/10/2017, StevenHelmer
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frankbeswick on 01/07/2022

This poem makes me think of my father, who was a reconnaissance trooper in WW2. His job involved going into enemy territory to find out where the Germans were, then fighting his way out. He had a terrible war in which he lost many comrades.. So thanks for this poem.

DerdriuMarriner on 01/07/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for your poem.
In particular, I appreciate the references to leaving loved ones behind, leaving pieces of body and soul away from home and treading where others dare not. When I find out that someone has been in the military, I thank them for their service.

Will you please accept my thanks for your parents having rendered military service?

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