07 November 2011


I never asked for a low gravestone
Or a five-pointed star.
But what else can you offer,
Save a three-cornered flag in a wooden case?
Or 21 more bullets?

I didn’t know what a hero was
Until I saw a dog tag
Wedged between his teeth.

That’s not in the commercials.

I don’t want to be remembered.
I’d rather be here.
I didn’t ask to be a hero,
But lucky for you,
I am.

I saw a lot of British poems about Remembrance Day (Veterans Day) based on a prompt from Magpie Tales. It got me thinking that, as a veteran, I should write something for Veterans Day.  The I thought, wait, I wrote a poem perfect for that (not that the poem is perfect) about 10 years ago or so, but I am trying to stick to this thing about only posting new work on my blog. Am I off-task? Anyway, this is what I came up with after seeing images of the Congressional Medal of Honor and Arlington National Cemetery. 
The video is from stringbot's flickr account. I don't know him, but the video was labeled as being licensed for reuse, so  hope he is ok with it. I really like it because it shows it in kind of a normal, everyday thing. Something that can easily (and sadly) be forgotten. I've shot several 21 gun salvos (well 7 gun, 3 shot salvos). 

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