With what shall we come
to Veterans’ Day?
and how shall we honor
those who serve to protect our nation?
Shall we come with sales events –
new cars, mattresses,
and pre-Black-Friday discounts?
Shall we respond with cemetery flags,
parades of boy scouts
and middle school bands?
No, our hearts tell us what is good –
as good as the Armistice
after world war,
as good as dancing on the Berlin Wall.
What do our veterans require of us
but to do justice
by renewing lost benefits
and granting generous new ones,
to love kindness
by caring for those
who come home suffering
in mind, body, heart and spirit,
and to pledge a walk of peace
so that those who died
may not have fallen in vain,
and that children of all nations
may one day live humbly
with one another?