Tuesday, May 28, 2019

A Day to Remember Veterans

On this beautiful spring day, sunshine announces a day to honor all fallen heroes, men and women who died while serving the United States. 

I started my day thinking of my 90-year-old uncle who enlisted as a Marine during World War II and I found a poem written by Commander Kelly Strong, USCG (Ret.) in 1981 when he was a high school senior, a JROTC cadet. 

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.

A young Marine saluted it,
 and then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform.
So young, so tall, so proud.
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him.
How many died on foreign soil.
How many mother's tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many dies at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No freedom isn't free?

(You can read the rest of the poem here,)

Thank you to my friend, Jo Ann, for sending me this image in gif form this morning. 
Using the strike line, "No freedonm isn't free?, I wrote a golden shovel poem in draft form.

Why do we say no
so often when freedom 
rings strong? Isn't 
it important to be free?

I came back to this draft tonight after my Memorial Day Barbecue and decided to try another Golden Shovel with a different strike line. This one reminds me of all the men and women that enlisted in WWII at a young age but stood so tall and proud as they went off to war.

So young, so tall, so proud.  (strike line)

Today we celebrate in red, white, and blue so
we can honor young,
fallen heroes so
brave as they stood tall
in defense of our freedom-men and women so
eager, full of hope for America, and proud.

Listen to the song Fallen Soldier by Nathan Fair.

May this day lead all of us to consider what war means and how we can become more humane to one another.

Previous poems and digiital inspirations that I have written during Memorial Day Weekend over the past years.

If you would like to know why Memorial Day is a holiday turn read the Wonderopolis Wonder of the Day #1237.

I am sending this off to Two Writing Teachers because it is now the start of Slice of Life Tuesday. 


  1. What a moving, beautiful, patriotic tribute. Reminds me that gratitude is a vital element to life. It flooded me as I read your words. I love the Golden Shovels poems! Every piece here is so poignant and powerful.

    1. Fran, thank you so much for reading my words. Perhaps, they will make an impact on more people as we move beyond Memorial Day. Gratitude should be an everyday happening.

  2. Your golden shovel poems are quite moving. They are also great examples to share with your students. They certainly made me think about writing a golden shovel poem.

    1. The golden shovel poem format is a fun creative task that allows us to synthesize information and find a new pathway. You gave me an idea to ask my grad students this summer to write one.

  3. Thanks for sharing the ways you rework words to explore the meanings within this recent holiday observance.

    1. Brian, I like the idea that students can rework words to explore meanings in a new way. Enjoy the end of school. I have a new creative challenge if you would like to write a digital inspiration for my upcoming Spring Splendor Gallery (https://beyondliteracylink.blogspot.com/2019/05/invitation-to-salute-spring.html).