Poems and Inspiration
Veterans For America welcomes your submissions
"GOOD POETRY IS GOOD THERAPY"
A Soldier Died Today
He was getting old and paunchy
And his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion,
Telling stories of the past.
Of a war that he once fought in
And the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies;
They were heroes, every one.
And 'though sometimes to his neighbors
His tales became a joke,
All his buddies listened quietly
For they knew whereof he spoke.
But we'll hear his tales no longer,
For ol' Bill has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer
For a soldier died today.
He won't be mourned by many,
Just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary, very quiet sort of life...
He held a job and raised a family,
Going quietly on his way;
And the world won't note his passing,
Though a soldier died today.
When politicians leave this earth,
Their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing,
And proclaim that they were great.
Papers tell of their life stories
From the time that they were young
But the passing of a soldier
Goes unnoticed, and unsung.
Is the greatest contribution
To the welfare of our land,
Some jerk that breaks his promise
And cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow
Who in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his country
And offers up his life?
The politician's stipend
And the style in which he lives,
Are often disproportionate,
To the service that he gives.
While the ordinary soldier,
Who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal
And perhaps a pension, small.
It's so easy to forget them,
For it is so many times
That our Bill's and Jim's and Johnny’s,
Went to battle, but we know,
It is not the politicians
With their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom
That our country now enjoys.
Should you find yourself in danger,
With your enemies at hand,
Would you really want some cop-out,
With his ever waffling stand?
Or would you want a soldier--
His home, his country, his kin,
Just a common soldier,
Who would fight until the end.
He was just a common soldier,
And his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us
We may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict,
We find the soldier's part
Is to clean up all the troubles
That the politicians start.
If we cannot do him honor
While he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage
At the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline
In the paper that might say:
"OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING,
A SOLDIER DIED TODAY."
If our Veterans are sick let us heal them
If our Veterans are hungry let us feed them
If our Veterans seek employment let us hire them
If our Veterans need a friend let us befriend them
If our Veterans need peace let us pray for them
If our Veterans need a home let us shelter them
For the Veterans who sacrificed for our freedom...
Let us show them
America is grateful
Rick P Martinez
Veterans For America Founder
USMC Vietnam Veteran
"Everyday may not be good but there is some good in everyday"
"It takes courage not to be discouraged"
"Life is better above the ground"
"LIfe is God's gift to you
What you do with your life is your gift to God"
"The Star-Spangled Banner"
This is the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The flag, which flew over Fort McHenry in Baltimore during the 1814 battle at the fort, is a 15-star, 15-stripe garrison flag made in 1813 and loosely woven so that it could fly on a 90-foot flagpole.
This patriotic song, whose words were written by Francis Scott Key on Sept. 14, 1814, during the War of 1812 with Great Britain, was adopted by Congress as the U.S. national anthem in 1931. For many years before Congress made this choice, the song was popular and regulations for military bands required that it be played for ceremonies.
Though Key wrote the words during the British bombardment of Fort McHenry at Baltimore, the melody was an English tune well known in America by the 1790s. It was the music for a poem, “To Anacreon in Heaven,” written about 1780 as the official song of a British social and musical organization, the Anacreontic Society. In fact, Key had used the music in 1805 to accompany another poem he wrote to honor Commodore Stephen Decatur.
Key Detained While Negotiating
Key was a well known 34-year-old Washington, D.C., lawyer-poet. The British had captured Washington and taken William Beanes, a physician, prisoner. They were holding him aboard ship in their fleet off the Baltimore shore. Friends of Beanes persuaded Key to negotiate his release. Key went out to the British fleet and succeeded in gaining Beanes’ release but, because the British planned to attack Baltimore at that time, both were detained.
During the night of Sept. 13-14, Key watched the bombardment of Baltimore from the deck of a British ship. Although rain obscured the fort during the night, at daybreak he could see the American flag still flying from Fort McHenry. The fort still stood after the British had fired some 1,800 bombs, rockets and shells at it, about 400 of them landing
inside. Four defenders were killed and 24 wounded. Key drafted the words of a poem on an envelope. The American detainees were sent ashore, the British fleet withdrew, and Key finished the poem and made a good copy of it in a Baltimore hotel the next day.
Poem an Instant Hit in Baltimore
According to some accounts, Key showed the poem to relatives of his wife in Baltimore who had it printed immediately and distributed throughout the city on a handbill, entitled “The Defense of Fort McHenry.” Within a couple of weeks, Baltimore newspapers published the poem. It gained instant popularity and was renamed “The Star-Spangled Banner.” An actor sang it to the popular British tune at a public performance in Baltimore.
Only with the start of the Civil War did “The Star-Spangled Banner” become a nationally popular song. During World War I, a drive began in Congress to make it the official anthem of America’s armed forces. There were other contenders for the title, including “America the Beautiful” and “Yankee Doodle.” Maryland legislators and citizens were among the most active groups and individuals who pressed to get Francis Scott Key’s words and accompanying English tune ratified into law as the country’s first national anthem. That finally happened when President Herbert Hoover signed legislation on March 3, 1931.
The anthem has four verses, each ending with the line, “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”