Veterans Day Poems
Remember – with these Veterans Day Poems. November 11th Veterans Day is the United States. In Canada it is refered to as Remembrance Day. No matter what the day is called it is a day where people stop and remember and give thanks for the men and women who fought in wars to perserve our freedom. May we never forget and may we always express our gratitude and appreciation!
To The Veterans of the United States of America:
Sara Niles, Torn From the Inside Out
“Thank you, for the cost you paid for our freedom,
thank you for the freedom to live in safety and pursue happiness,
for freedom of speech (thus my book), and
for all the freedoms that we daily take for granted.”
More Veterans Day Quotes
My Thoughts on Remembrance Day
Poet: Cody Lynch, © 2007
On the eleventh day of the eleventh month
We pause at the eleventh hour
Some of us stop to pray
For soldiers who died or went missing along the way.
Lest we forget the wars that were fought
To give us freedom
So many were shot.
I will always remember
My great Grandpa who died
Rest in peace dear Grandpa
You are always on my mind.
I would love to join the military someday
To give back to my country
And to make my world a better place.
Rest in peace all you soldiers
Who gave up your lives
For people like me
It’s a shame that you died.
The above poem, My Thoughts on Remembrance Day, was written by a very special boy! He is 10 years old, and is in Grade 5. He recently wrote this poem and recited during his school assembly. His great Grandfather fought in World War I, and in World War II.
Cody honored his Grandfather’s memory by writing this poem about him. His grandfather is now passed away, but his memory lives within Cody. Cody’s Grandpa is only one of the many Canadians who fought in the wars so that all of us would have our freedom – men who should be forever remembered and honored.
Thank you Cody for sharing your words of wisdom and for reminding us all how important it is to stop and be thankful for all those who have fought in wars so that we have may all enjoy our freedom. The bravery and risk that these men took will not be forgotten.
“But the freedom that they fought for, and the country grand they wrought for, is their monument to-day, and for aye.” Thomas Dunn English
Another famouspoem for verterans, In Flanders Fields, was written by Dr. John McCrae. In April 1915, one of Dr. John McCrae’s closest friends and comrades was killed in the trenches near Ypres, Belgium. He was buried in a humble grave with a simple wooden cross. Wild poppies bloomed between the crosses marking the many graves. The next day, unable to help his friend or any of the others who had died, Dr. McCrae gave them a voice through this poem.
On January 28, 1918, John McCrae succumbed to pneumonia and meningitis. He died not knowing the outcome of the war, but with a full understanding of the cost of it. Before he died, Dr. McCrae had the satisfaction of knowing that his poem had been a success. Soon after its publication, it became the most popular poem on the First World War. It was translated into many languages and used on billboards advertising the sale of first Victory Loan Bonds in Canada in 1917. In part because of the poem’s popularity, the poppy was adopted as the Flower of Remembrance. The symbolic poppy and John McCrae’s poems are still linked, and the voices of those who have died in war continue to be heard each Veterans Day, Remembrance Day.
In Flanders Fields
Poet: Dr. John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.
Have We Forgotten?
Poet: Greta Zwaan, ©1993
Lest we forget? But – have we forgotten?
The cost, the maiming of war? Lest we forget?
Yet whatï¿½s left but mem’ries
Of blood-stained graves on a foreign shore?
Indelible memories to parents and friends,
To loved ones who grieve to this day.
Or the many who fought, who laid down their lives,
The greatest of price one can pay.
Do we value our freedom? Do we know what it cost?
Have we ever considered the pain?
The poppies, the crosses, the graves still unmarked,
The sound of the bugle’s refrain.
And those who returned, still bearing their scars,
The endless haunting of war,
Water-filled trenches, mud-caked boots,
And the sound of the cannonï¿½s loud roar.
Memï¿½ries of buddies who fell at their side,
Who lay in the mud and the grime,
Still shouldering their weapons, still fighting the foe,
Until they ran out of time.
Unable to help, unable to save,
The mem’ry will always be there.
Let us never forget the torture, the pain,
The heartache they had to bear.
Today we remember – tomorrow as well,
The hardships that war brought our way,
But, praise to our God that freedom ensued
It’s the dawn of a shining new day!
Poet: Greta Zwaan, ©1993
The cold November wind blows while memories stir again,
Thoughts of strife and hardships, of anguish and of pain.
Though time has dimmed the heartaches, the imprints are still there.
The poppies at the graveside, the comrades knelt in prayer.
So many men have fallen, so many lives were lost;
The price to pay for freedom exacts a heavy cost.
Dare we forget the battles that raged on foreign shores,
And live in ease and comfort, far from the cannon’s roars?
Lest we forget the reason, lest we forget the tears,
Lest we forget the message passed on throughout the years,
We gather to remember, to honour those who’ve died,
And thank God for the vet’rans who still stand at our side.
They fought in quest of freedom, they conquered, then returned.
Today we pay them homage, a tribute they have earned!
We wear the blood red poppy, the pipes play the lament,
We pause for just a moment, the message has been sent:
“LEST WE FORGET,” it beckons, lest we have fought in vain,
REMEMBER! Oh, REMEMBER! Lest we face war again!”
In The Trenches
Poet: Greta Zwaan, © 2004
He sat alone in the trenches, covered in mud and grime,
Nary a soul sat with him; he was oblivious of time.
Oh, yes, there were men all around him, facing the same inner fear,
Hating the horrible conditions, feeling the enemy near.
Would he still be here tomorrow? Could he survive through the night?
Soaked to the skin and half frozen, there was nothing left in him to fight.
War ï¿½ so destructive, so hopeless; surrounded by death and despair,
Anxiety, turmoil and hatred; the trenches – a place without prayer.
If God is real, then where is He? Does He see the death of these men?
Where is compassion and justice? Should we still hope? Tell us when!
Have we deserved all this misery? Are we the cause of this war?
Men in high places have sent us, like they’ve done to so many before.
Lives have been crushed and forgotten, left in the trenches to die.
Fighting for peace was their motto, but to many it seemed but a lie.
If bureaucrats want a solution, let them step into these holes,
Let them fight out their dark battles, in the trenches, living like moles.
I warrant that things would be different, dressed in a suit and a tie,
No one would enter the trenches, no one would offer to die.
‘Tis youth, full of hope, full of vigour, who dream there’ll be peace in the land,
Who offers his life as a ransom to make all the world understand.
That war is never the answer, that hatred must be controlled;
God molded love for each nation, not greed or power or gold.
God alone can restore man, God alone sets man free;
He can’t be blamed for man’s failures, He constantly utters this plea:
“Come unto Me, ye who labour, are heavy hearted and lost,
Come and take what I offer, My Son has paid the full cost.”
So don’t blame God for disasters – wars are not started by Him;
Blame the leaders of nations, those who have made life so grim.
When greed is abolished, forgiven; when countries can stand side by side,
When love can remove all the hatred, the heart-wrenching tears have been dried,
Then peace will flow through the nations, the soldiers all will come home;
The power of love will be conqueror; there’s joy now, no more need to roam.
Lest We Forget
Poet: Greta Zwaan, © 1993
He was only eighteen when the call came through,
Just a young lad with a man’s job to do.
Called into service to fight freedomï¿½s cause:
Restore to the country its peace and its laws.
He felt great excitement, was eager to go,
No fear crossed his vision, and how could he know?
Of water-filled trenches, or marches in mire,
That covered his ankles, his hands, his attire.
The gun-shattered eardrums, the feet cold and sore,
The nightï¿½s total darkness, the cannon’s fierce roar.
ï¿½Twas but in an instant the lad turned to man,
The raging of war sped across a life span.
It took but one bullet to snuff out his life,
A young man, a dream, a war and great strife.
How many more lay in trenches, in mud?
How many more have given life’s blood?
And, what have we learned from this terrible ordeal?
Have we made peace on earth? Is it real?!!
Is it real?!! The answer is NO! The fightings still rage,
We add to the numbers on memorials page.
Let us remember all who have died,
And the war-wounded soldiers who stood by their side.
The men who returned with their minds scarred by pain,
Give them praise and thanksgiving, they died not in vain.
This is a day we remember the toil,
Of the blood and the battle on far distant soil.
Lest we forget – lest our memories should fade,
ï¿½Twas our boys that we lost, ’twas a high price they paid.
Lord, bless our soldiers, the ones who’ve returned,
And keep e’er before us the honour theyï¿½ve earned.
Lest we forget the horror, the tears,
We pause to remember the dead of war years.
Poet: Ivan Clyde Lake
Do you recall that tranquil night
We walked a while in lunar light,
The long, lone country road ahead,
The talk of brave men helmeted?
Do you recall the prayer we made?
“Dear God: Let not this brightness fade,
But soon, where armines fight and die,
Bring peace like that which rules Your sky.”
Now we have lived to see a peace
When dangers mount and fears increae,
And in the veins of jungle-men
The blood of war is hot again.
So now, dear God, we pray anew;
“Your sky today is calm and blue,
And may Your earth beneath accent
The saneness of Your firmament.”
A section of Remarks by President John F. Kennedy
Veterans Day National Ceremony, Arlington, Virginia
November 11, 1961
On this Veterans Day of 1961, on this day of remembrance, let us pray in the name of those who have fought in this country’s wars, and most especially who have fought in the First World War and in the Second World War, that there will be no veterans of any further war — not because all shall have perished but because all shall have learned to live together in peace.And to the dead here in this cemetery we say:
They are the race –
they are the race immortal,
Whose beams make broad
the common light of day!
Though Time may dim,
though Death has barred their portal,
These we salute,
which nameless passed away.
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
“Remembrance Day isn’t just about war and those we’ve lost, but about ideals and what we stand for. It’s about respecting our past and looking hopefully forward, and more than anything, thanking those who have served.” Rebecca Zamon
“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” Joseph Campbell
“It is fitting that we continue to set aside a day to give thanks to the God who has brought us through two world wars and other regional conflicts. It is fitting, too, that we honour those who served and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. May we never take for granted the freedom we enjoy nor those who fought to defend that freedom.” Rev. Richard Jackson
“It is an honour to pay tribute to the women and men in uniform who protect our rights and freedom, so that we may enjoy the rights and freedoms denied to so many.” Brian Gallant
“There are no warlike peoples – just warlike rulers.”Ralph J. Bunche
“Today, we pause to remember and honour the Canadian men and women who have served our country and fought for freedom around the world. Time may fade, but our memories cannot. We all have a duty to hold the torch high, and to keep its flame alight.” Justin Trudeau
“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.” Abraham Lincoln
More Poems to Inspire and Encourage