Veteran’s/Armistice Day Double-Feature

Statue commemorating the 7th Infantry Regiment, Central Park, New York, New York. Source: author’s photo collection

Today marks Veteran’s Day here in the U.S., but it also coincides with Armistice Day, otherwise known as the official end of World War 1. Here’s my tribute to both occasions.

Never Again (Four Years)

“Never again,” said the kings-the fiends responsible for the years.
Four years of madness and woe,
four years of living, breathing fears.

We saw that those four years were hundreds in deaths,
thousands in damage
and millions in debts,

and would leave still more destitute,
bankrupt and ailing for the years to follow.

One hundred years have passed since the first cannons rang,
ninety-six since the last of them faded,
and only moments ago when mourning choirs sang

somewhere in the world, somewhere in time.

“Never again,” they said.

———

Questions

What would you have them do,
those tired, poor and huddled masses
whom you have cast aside so contemptuously?

What more would you have them give,
those who gave everything of their own accord,
yet you throw them scraps when your mood is generous?

Where would you have them go,
those who have traveled far in your name
but have lost their sense of home, even after they’ve returned?

What would you have them say,
when they have seen and done things
unimaginable-things otherwise unthinkable?

How much longer can we turn away
from this this festering wound until it becomes malignant,
only giving it lip service until it’s too late?

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About optimistthepessimist

Always in transit.
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