Veterans Day Again

The one thing I never want to see again
is a military parade.

— Ulysses S. Grant


We’ve seen far too many military parades
with their missiles, marching bands
and mechanized young men.

We’ve witnessed enough high-stepping
soldiers in their polished black boots
marching to the sounds of brass.

Spare us the old men dressed in uniforms
with their sorrowful hats and sewn-on patches.
Spare us the slippery words of politicians.

Let’s return to basics: On Armistice Day
the soldiers laid down their arms on the 11th hour
of the 11th day of the 11th month.

A generation was lost.
The survivors had had enough of war.
The 11th hour is here again, the sky clear blue.

by David Krieger

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