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Veteran's Day Poems

Veteran's Day Poem Ideas

Wherever we gather today 'neath "The Stars,"
Let's honor the living now wearing the scars
Which they brought from the fields of battle and strife,
While protecting "Our Flag," and our Nation's life.

– Frederick W. Emerson
Memorial Day, 1892

If you're looking for a Veteran's Day poem for kids, try Hannah Flagg Gould'sThe Veteran and the Child. For a long Veteran's Day poem, check out Veterans, Teach Us. Below is a more complete, categorized list of suggestions.




Table of Contents

Veteran's Day Poems for Kids

  1. The Veteran and the Child by Hannah Flagg Gould
  2. Fall In! by Amos Russel Wells

Long Veteran's Day Poems

  1. Veterans, Teach Us by Anonymous
  2. The Veteran and the Child by Hannah Flagg Gould

  1. Veterans, Teach Us

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Veterans ere you leave us—and thin are your lessening columns,
    Ere you are laid with your wounds in the soil of your glorified country,
    Stars and Stripes on your coffin aud taps blown soft in the graveyard,
    Ere you pass to the shore where your comrades are drawn up to greet you.
    Give to us who remain a share of your courage and vigor;
    Teach us, young and mature, the zeal that age has not withered.

    Ours are different foes, they come not out in the open,
    Never with shot and shell announce the place of their hiding;
    Rather they lurk in the swamps and fill the air with miasma;
    Rather they poison the wells, and lay their mines in the midnight.
    They are the cohorts of greed, shameless and crafty and cruel.
    They are the bandits of lust crawling treacherous deadly.
    They are the rabble of hate torches and bombs for their weapons.
    Thieves are they and despoilers vandals of all that is precious.
    Ah, would they draw the sword and leap to a manifest battle!
    Would we could see them and hear them and feel the shock of their onset!
    Teach, us veterans passing, how to be heroes of patience;
    How to fight in the dark, and how to grapple with spectres!
    How to watch, and endure, and strike at the drag of a shadow!
    How to throttle a fever, and how to sabre a passion!
    Give us your faith and your hope, and your invincible courage,
    Keeping your muskets and swords and wheeling your cannon with you;
    Useless are they for our war, but give us more powerful weapons,
    Wisdom and firmness and truth, the love of God and our country.
    These as ye pass, O heroes, give us who must now be heroic.
    Gird them close to our souls, and teach us well how to use them.
    So as you march to your graves, veterans worn with the conflict,
    You will lie down in peace, leaving a true succession.
    So with the changing age new dangers will meet old daring.

  2. The Veteran and the Child

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    'Come, grandfather, show how you carried your gun
    To the field, where America's freedom was won,
    Or bore your old sword, which you say was new then,
    When you rose to command, and led forward your men;
    And tell how you felt with the balls whizzing by,
    Where the wounded fell round you, to bleed and to die!'

    The prattler had stirred, in the veteran's breast,
    The embers of fire that had long been at rest.
    The blood of his youth rushed anew through his veins;
    The soldier returned to his weary campaigns;
    His perilous battles at once fighting o'er,
    While the soul of nineteen lit the eye of four-score.

    "I carried my musket, as one that must be
    But loosed from the hold of the dead, or the free!
    And fearless I lifted my good, trusty sword,
    In the hand of a mortal, the strength of the Lord!
    In battle, my vital flame freely, I felt
    Should go, but the chains of my country to melt!"

    "I sprinkled my blood upon Lexington's sod,
    And Charlestown's green height to the war-drum I trod.
    From the fort, on the Hudson, our guns I depressed,
    The proud coming sail of the foe to arrest.
    I stood at Stillwater, the Lakes, and White Plains,
    And offered for freedom to empty my veins!"

    "Dost now ask me, child, since thou hear'st where I ve been,
    Why my brow is so furrowed, my locks white and thin—
    Why this faded eye cannot go by the line,
    Trace out little beauties, and sparkle like thine;
    Or why so unstable his tremulous knee,
    Who bore 'sixty years since,' such perils for thee?"

    "What! sobbing so quick? are the tears going to start?
    Come! lean thy young head on thy grandfather's heart!
    It has not much longer to glow with the joy
    I feel thus to clasp thee, so noble a boy!
    But when in earth's bosom it long has been cold,
    A man, thou 'lt recall, what, a babe, thou art told."

  3. Fall In!

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Who shall march with the veteran band,
    These who saved a united land,
    These our heroes humble and grand,
    Who shall march with the soldiers?

    You, the boys who will soon be men.
    Soldier duties will yours be then.
    Fighting wrong in its darkest den,—
    Fall in, and march with the soldiers!

    You, the mothers of days to be,
    You in whose hand is the future's key.
    You who will train the brave and the free,
    Fall in, and march with the soldiers!

    You, the makers of worthy laws.
    Bold to lead in a righteous cause.
    Deaf to falsehood and vain applause,
    Fall in, and march with the soldiers!

    You, the workers whose steady toil
    Wrenches wealth from the mine and soil,
    Victors who gather a bloodless spoil.
    Fall in, and march with the soldiers!

    You, all teachers of truth and right,
    You, all preachers of love and light,
    All who are fighting the people's fight,
    Fall in, and march with the soldiers!

  4. A Route for the Procession

    by Anonymous

    Where shall the veterans march to-day.
    With drum and fife and with banners gay.
    Where shall they take their memorial way?

    Let them march by the city hall,
    Let them shout to its echoing wall,
    "Live for your country the first of all."

    Let them march by the great church door.
    There will they cry, "Hear the weak implore,
    Free the oppressed and the wronged restore."

    Let them march by the public school,
    Shouting, "Children, be no man's fool;
    Ever stand for the righteous rule."

    Let them march by the marts of trade,
    Singing, "Rich men, be not afraid;
    Of manhood only is true wealth made."

    Let them march by the grimy mill,
    There let them cry, "In the present I'll
    Work for a better, and better still."

    Let them march by the playhouse fair,
    Shouting, "Pleasurers debonair,
    Do not forget the world of care."

    Let them march to the graveyard near,
    Saying, "Heroes, our brothers dear,
    Soon we too shall be lying here."

  5. The Revolutionary Soldier's Bequest

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    "Behold," the hoary veteran said,
    "The silver scattered o'er my head;
    A remnant of the auburn hair,
    That curled in sunny clusters there,
    When, in the land that now is thine,
    With bounding flock and fruitful vine,
    While Freedom's banner waves unfurled,
    The envy of a gazing world,
    Life was but slavery to me;
    And when I fought, my son, for thee.

    "Thy father's forehead time has bared;
    The few white locks, that yet are spared
    And lonely round my temples stray,
    Soon from thy sight must pass away.
    So thinned, so scattered o'er the land
    Is now that valiant, patriot band,
    Who, when their country gave the word,
    ' To arms! to arms! gird on thy sword!'
    Sprang forth, resolved her chains to break,
    Or earth their gory bed to make.
    And, gathering where their chieftain led,
    Thick as the hairs that clothed his head,
    Marched onward, where the foeman stood
    Waiting to dip his foot in blood.

    "Though many a groan was heard around
    From quivering lips that strewed the ground;
    Yet none could pause to bid farewell,
    When at his side his brother fell,
    To close alone the dying eye—
    To heave unheard the final sigh,
    With none to stay the fleeting breath,
    Or wipe away the damps of death.
    For struggling Liberty impelled,
    When nature's ties had fain withheld;
    Until the God of armies spake
    The word, that made her bonds to break.
    And Independence, shouting loud,
    Burst glorious from the fiery cloud
    That rolled upon the battle-field,
    And scenes of blood and death concealed!
    'T was thus thy liberty was won,
    'T was thus I fought for thee, my son!

    "Yes, on the earth I've sought my rest,
    The hoar-frost gathering o'er my breast;
    And oft the freezing, midnight air
    That chilled my blood, has warmed my prayer,
    That He, who governs all, would ride
    With victory on our injured side.
    Through winter's cold, and summer's heat,
    With aching head and weary feet,
    And hunger's cravings I have gone;
    And when I saw the morning dawn,
    Have thought my day of life must close,
    Ere the first star of evening rose.

    "But now those toils have long been o'er,
    And Plenty spreads from shore to shore;
    While Peace and Freedom join to sing
    The praises of our heavenly King.
    And long his eye has sweetly slept,
    Who then in lonely sorrow wept,
    And bowed with years beneath the stroke,
    When his last earthly prop was broke,
    And his fair son, upon the plain,
    Lay pale, and numbered with the slain.
    The widow too, has made her bed
    Low as her soldier's when he bled,
    And waning life could only spare
    A breath to waft the soldier's prayer,
    'Receive, O God, my soul—and bless
    The widow and the fatherless!'

    "And now, the dimpled babe that smiled,
    When the armed warrior clasped his child;
    And felt a father's parting kiss
    Distend his little heart with bliss;
    Nor knew that parting kiss must sever
    His father's face from his for ever;
    That infant's face is altered now,
    Life's Autumn rays are on his brow.
    While bending o'er the grave I stand
    Waiting a few last grains of sand,
    To drop my clay beneath the sod
    And give my spirit back to God.

    "No glittering wealth that stored the mine,
    Will at thy father's death be thine.
    The scanty portion earth bestows
    Just lasts me to my journey's close!
    But then, I feel I leave thee more
    Than sparkling gems, or dazzling ore;
    Thy heritage is worth them all—
    Thy lines in pleasant places fall,
    Thou hast the land of liberty,
    Which I have fought to win for thee.
    O, keep the dear bequest I make
    Unsullied, for my memory's sake!
    Let no usurping tyrant tread
    Upon my low and peaceful bed—
    No cringing slave retire to weep
    For freedom, where my ashes sleep.
    But when the hand of Time shall trace
    His name in furrows on thy face;
    When four-score years have plucked thy hair,
    And bowed thy form their weight to bear;
    When thou the minute hand shalt see
    Pointing thy feet to follow me,
    To God, and to thy country true,
    Then, for a heavenly home in view,
    Thou to thy son this land resign
    As blessed and free, as I to mine."

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