Posts Tagged ‘poetry

11
Nov
15

A Veteran

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Jacqueline OBoomer

He served

He hugged the grandmother,
and mom and dad,
tears in his eyes
that he couldn’t let them see.
Looked over his shoulder
to remember their faces
set in time.
This time in his life
he would only understand
was extraordinary,
looking back.

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Honor and bravery
and, yes, to be a man
were why he signed up early,
why he went off
why he missed a bit of his youth
and journeyed to a far-off
war-time destination
he had never
heard much about
when he was younger.

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The in-between years
are not forgot
They enter in dreams
and memories he sometimes wished
he didn’t have.
He knows he’s not alone
in the recollections
yet only a small amount of comfort
has come from that,
has ever come from that.

It is what it is,
his mantra.
It is what it is.

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But now in the prime
of his older years
he wears a ballcap with the
name of his service on it
and the name of his war.
He remembers the conflict
and when he
remembers the grandmother
remembers mom and dad
he feels the honor
he thinks he brought them.

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The sting of yesterday’s tears
in his crinkly eyes come from
the love of country
the esprit de corps ~
the brothers and comrades
he left behind or
still meets for coffee
on a Wednesday morning
in his hometown.

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And when he and his brothers
talk over coffee
about the “free lunch” for veterans
they’re serving at the
VFW, in a few hours,
he turns to them
(those who, like he,
paid ahead such a high price
for that “free lunch” years ago)
and says,
“We should support that
for the new vets
who might really need it.”

He is what he is.

A veteran.

A man.

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27
Jun
15

Bree Newsome Is What Courage And Bravery Looks Like

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Thank you, thank you, thank you, Bree Newsome

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Yes, TOD. This is the perfect example of what you can call money well spent

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Continue reading ‘Bree Newsome Is What Courage And Bravery Looks Like’

19
Jun
15

A Mass for the Dead

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For the dead, we say, “Amen”. And for the living.
There are too many dead, and the living are riven.

Every day, a new horror, a new loss of innocence,
And the night-dimmed tide swallows us.

There is no innocence; this is a fallen world,
And men of evil revel in destruction.

When is it enough? It’s never enough.
Violence has an army of reasons,

And peace seems to be an idea
Honored more in the breach than the observance.

This is not your heritage; it is evil.
This is not your freedom; it is slavery.

Do that which you would have done unto you;
Flee from that which is harmful to all.

The answer is there, to be teased out
Of life, hard life, the only life we have.

Remember the dead, for they speak from the earth,
Pleading, “Let us not be in vain.”

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04
Jun
15

The Biden Family Pays Their Respects

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Dr. Jill Biden comforts Vice President Joe Biden during a viewing for their son, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden at Legislative Hall in Dover, Delaware. Standing with Dr. Biden are Beau Biden’s widow, Hallie, and granddaughter Natalie

An honor guard carries a casket containing the remains of former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden as members of the Biden family, left, look on, Thursday, June 4, 2015, before a viewing at Legislative Hall in Dover, Del. Biden, the vice president's eldest son, died of brain cancer Saturday at age 46. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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An honor guard carries the casket containing the remains of former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden

Vice President Joe Biden, bottom center, leads his family to a viewing for his son, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, Thursday, June 4, 2015, at Legislative Hall in Dover, Del. Walking alongside Biden are his granddaughter Natalie, from bottom left, daughter-in-law Hallie, grandson Hunter and wife Jill. Beau Biden died of brain cancer Saturday at age 46. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)

Vice President Joe Biden and his family arrive for the viewing of former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden at Legislative Hall before a viewing in Dover, Del. Biden, the vice president's eldest son, died of brain cancer Saturday at age 46.  (Jason Minto/The Wilmington News-Journal via AP)  NO SALES

Vice President Joe Biden consoles Hallie Biden wife of former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden before a viewing at Legislative Hall in Dover, Del. Biden, the vice president's eldest son, died of brain cancer Saturday at age 46.  (Jason Minto/The Wilmington News-Journal via AP)  NO SALES

Vice President Joe Biden comforts Beau Biden’s wife, Hallie Biden

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Vice President Joe Biden comforts his granddaughter Natalie

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Vice President Joe Biden lays his hand on his son’s casket

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Jacqueline OBoomer

As our thoughts go with the Bidens …

People make the father smile
One heart to another heart
Helps him walk another mile
Briefly helps his tears depart

The loving son has gone on first
A proud family waves farewell
He was here but for a time
Until he heard the angel’s bell

Now they know they all can cling
To each other’s hands, not alone
Later they’ll smile in the knowing
God just called their loved one home

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A long line of mourners wait to pay their respects to the Biden family

Vice President Joe Biden, left, hugs a mourner as they stand near a casket containing the remains of Biden's son, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, during a viewing, Thursday, June 4, 2015, at Legislative Hall in Dover, Del. Beau Biden died of brain cancer Saturday at age 46. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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Governor Jack Markell speaks at the viewing of Joseph R. “Beau” Biden III in the Senate Chambers at Legislative Hall in Dover

Vice President Joe Biden, left, greets mourners near a casket containing the remains of Biden's son, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, during a viewing, Thursday, June 4, 2015, at Legislative Hall in Dover, Del. Beau Biden died of brain cancer Saturday at age 46. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)

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Governor Jack Markell holds a military medal awarded to Beau Biden

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Firefighters create a flag arch for Beau Biden’s procession in Dover

People stand on line next to a family portrait of former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden during a viewing for Biden on Thursday, June 4, 2015, at Legislative Hall in Dover, Del.   Beau Biden died of brain cancer Saturday at age 46.  (Jason Minto/The Wilmington News-Journal via AP)  NO SALES

31
May
15

Beau Biden: The Finest Man Any Of Us Have Ever Known

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Shakespeare

And when I shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.

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Statement from Vice President Joe Biden

It is with broken hearts that Hallie, Hunter, Ashley, Jill and I announce the passing of our husband, brother and son, Beau, after he battled brain cancer with the same integrity, courage and strength he demonstrated every day of his life. The entire Biden family is saddened beyond words. We know that Beau’s spirit will live on in all of us—especially through his brave wife, Hallie, and two remarkable children, Natalie and Hunter.

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Beau’s life was defined by service to others. As a young lawyer, he worked to establish the rule of law in war-torn Kosovo. A major in the Delaware National Guard, he was an Iraq War veteran and was awarded the Bronze Star. As Delaware’s Attorney General, he fought for the powerless and made it his mission to protect children from abuse.

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More than his professional accomplishments, Beau measured himself as a husband, father, son and brother. His absolute honor made him a role model for our family. Beau embodied my father’s saying that a parent knows success when his child turns out better than he did.

In the words of the Biden family: Beau Biden was, quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known.

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By way of Donna Dem

If tears could build a stairway
and thoughts a memory lane
VP Joe would walk right up to heaven
and bring you home again
You were gone before they knew it
And only God knows why.
You were the best of all of them
And the twinkle in your families eye

With heart’s still active in sadness
And secret tears still flow
What it meant to lose you
No one can ever know.
And now they know you’d want them
To mourn for you no more
To remember all the happy times
Life still has so much in store.

Since you’ll never be forgotten
Your family pledges today
A hallowed place within their hearts
Is where you’ll always stay.

Author Unknown

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If you would like to leave some words of condolences for the Biden family, the White House has graciously provided a way to do so here

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by Meta

I went back and found some notes I wrote to a friend when I saw Beau Biden and Kamala Harris give a talk on gun reform in July 2013. I want to share them with you because the overwhelming feeling I got from him was that he was such a great human being:

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The first thing that comes to your mind when you see Beau Biden is how much he looks like his father. I mean, really, really looks like his father, and with some of the same mannerisms. Then you listen to him speak and what comes across is just how smart, compassionate and dedicated he is when he talks about his work and his family. He talked about his Dad a lot.

He and Kamala are long-time friends and they spoke about the challenge of working on common sense gun reform. Beau talked about his experience with this issue in particular as AG for Delaware. He spoke for about 20 minutes or so and then took questions for at least another hour. He was very, very generous with his time and did his best to address questions that were very challenging. Kamala Harris is also gorgeous and crazy smart. She projects strength and courage in so many, many ways, I’m just thrilled that she is my AG. SO, these are two very distinguished rising stars in our party and we should be very proud of them. I want to encourage all of us to keep track and support them both in any way we can.

After the event I walked up to him just to thank him. I waited patiently as he was mobbed with people wanting to give him their card and introduce themselves and have a photo taken. Then Christine Pelosi walked up next to me and when Beau was free, I told her to go ahead and get in there and meet him. He was very glad to meet her and they talked for a few minutes about the work she’s doing now and some of the stuff that’s happening now with PBO and VPB on gun reform. They both talked about how much they loved PBO’s remarks on Trayvon in the WH briefing room and Beau said he thought PBO should do more of that because he’s so good at it. Then when the moment came, he turned toward me and I shook his hand and thanked him for his service and just said I want to wish him the best in this very tough fight. He was soooooo sweet and thanked me. I told him I love his father very much and he seemed very touched by that. He looked at me and said, you know, my father is really, in real life, really a very nice man, a very good man. I said, I know! That is why I love him! And your mother, too. He said, yes, my mother, too. I thanked all three of them for their service to our nation. He seemed very sincerely touched by that. He said he’s going to need a lot of help when the legislature looks at his gun reform bill again in Delaware in January and I said if I can help, I will. He smiled and thanked me and said, please stay in touch with me. Please join my Facebook page. I smiled and said, OK.

Honestly, Beau is just a very warm, honest man and one of the most sincere guys you’ll ever meet. Just a wonderful man. And again, OMG, just very, very handsome in person, incredibly fit. Anyway, I so wish you could have been there with me. It was very, very special. My admiration for them both for taking on this incredibly important issue is truly boundless.

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I’m know that VP Joe must be inconsolable. I cannot imagine losing a son, losing such a bright star. I hope in the days to come he will find a measure of comfort from the outpouring of love and respect the world over. He and Jill are so beloved.

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The world remembers a beautiful soul

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Robert Burns

An honest man here lies at rest,
The friend of man, the friend of truth,
The friend of age, and guide of youth:
Few hearts like his, with virtue warm’d,
Few heads with knowledge so inform’d;
If there’s another world, he lives in bliss;
If there is none, he made the best of this.

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Vice President and Beau Biden before speaking to the Newark National Little League team. Beau Biden tweeted the picture out.

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Denver, CO  (8/27/08) CAPTION: .  STORY SUMMARY:  Day three of the Democratic National Convention in Denver.  Delegates cast their votes and Roll Call. Shelly Loos , of Hollywood, FL MARTHA RIAL  |  Times

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Robert Louis Stevenson 

Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me;
“Here he lies where he longed to be,
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.”

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Stephen O’Brien

I will wait for you…
Though we never had a chance to say goodbye,
Remember me…
When winter snows are falling through a quiet sky
I’ll remember you
When, in our darkest hour,
You held my hand and prayed I wouldn’t go,
But a silent voice called out to me;
My time had come, and I had to travel Home…

Since then, I know your life has never been the same,
For I visit you each day:
So many times I’ve felt your pain:
I’ve watched you cry:
And I’ve heard you call my name…

But now, further along life’s road I stand
In a timeless world, just beyond your sight,
Waiting for the day when I can take your hand and bring you across
to this land of Golden Light…

Till then, remember me, you understand-and try not to cry.
But if you do:
Let your tears fall
For the happiness and joy we knew,
And for the special love we shared,
For love can never die.

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Author Unknown

Don’t cry for me now I have died, for I’m still here I’m by your side,
My body’s gone but my soul’s is here, please don’t shed another tear,
I am still here I’m all around, only my body lies in the ground.
I am the snowflake that kisses your nose,
I am the frost, that nips your toes.
I am the sun ,bringing you light,
I am the star, shining so bright.
I am the rain, refreshing the earth,
I am the laughter, I am the mirth.
I am the bird, up in the sky,
I am the cloud, that’s drifting by.
I am the thoughts, inside your head,
While I’m still there, I can’t be dead.

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17
Apr
15

The President And First Lady’s Day

Barack Obama, Matteo Renzi

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Obama welcomes Renzi before their meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington

 President Barack Obama welcomes Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi before their meeting in the Oval Office at the White House

Obama speaks with Renzi at the start of their meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington

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U.S. President Obama listens during joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Renzi at the White House in Washington

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Barack Obama, Matteo Renzi

 President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. The two leaders spoke on a range of issues, including Ukraine, Libya and Islamic State militants

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U.S. President Obama and Italian Prime Minister Renzi listen to a question during joint news conference at the White House in Washington

U.S. President Obama addresses joint news conference at the White House in Washington

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Barack Obama

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U.S. President Obama greets Italian Prime Minister Renzi after their joint news conference at the White House in Washington

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Barack Obama, Matteo Renzi

President Barack Obama greets poet laureate Elizabeth Alexander during an event in the State Dining Room at the White House. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the event in celebration of National Poetry Month

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First Lady Michelle Obama attends an event in celebration of National Poetry Month

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Poet laureate Elizabeth Alexander gives a poetry reading in the State Dining Room of the White House

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Obama arrives to deliver opening remarks at a poetry reading by Alexander, in honor of National Poetry Month, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington

Barack Obama

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Obama waves to students sitting behind her as she arrives for a poetry reading by Alexander, in honor of National Poetry Month, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington

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Barack Obama, Elizabeth Alexander

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04
Apr
15

Martin Luther King Jr: Always In Our Hearts

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Jacqueline Oboomer

Dr. King, always in our hearts

We celebrate his singular life each time we
think of his good works
and the hope and change he brought.
We commemorate his birth in January.
We visit his memorial on the mall
Year-round.
We tell his remarkable story
to the little children of today.
We’d rather leave the marking of the date
he was assassinated in Memphis
to the history books.
But all of it is what we were given
and what he was given.
And, this year, as we recall it was
forty-seven years ago on April 4
that his “four little children”
lost him …
Let us not forget about them
as we rejoice that he belonged to the world
for as long as he did
as we examine the “content of his character”
around the globe, as long as we all still do.
In our minds, we will remember him
and that our voices must keep
challenging the injustices
as we keep yearning for equality for all.
That night,
Robert Kennedy suggested
we dedicate ourselves
to what the Greeks had written
many years before:
“To tame the savageness of man and
make gentle the life of this world.”
A man named Barack Obama,
also in our hearts,
who later
became our President,
surely has dedicated himself to
“taming the savageness of man”
throughout the world
and to a “more perfect union”
here at home.
This year, no matter our religious beliefs
or non-beliefs,
it seems quite fitting somehow,
if only for the history books,
that the date we recall sits between
Good Friday and Passover and Easter
while prayers from other faiths are also
being said,
around the clock,
all over the globe,
in the interests of the human race.
Dr. King, always in our hearts.
Hope and change, always on the horizon,
to “make gentle the life of this world.”

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Continue reading ‘Martin Luther King Jr: Always In Our Hearts’

17
Mar
15

Éirinn go Brách

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President Barack Obama smiles as he walks down the steps of the Capitol with Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny after attending a “Friends of Ireland” luncheon

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President Barack Obama holds a book of poetry given to him by Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny during their meeting in the Oval Office

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Vice President Joe Biden listens during a meeting between President Barack Obama and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, on St. Patrick’s Day in the Oval Office

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (L-R), President Barack Obama and Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny leave after a St. Patrick's Day luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

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Boehner and Obama depart with Kenny after a St. Patrick's Day luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

09
Mar
15

How Hate Can Lead To Destruction

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They were chanting about hanging Black students from trees. They were chanting about lynching Black students. This is 2015 and they were proud to sing about lynching Black people. They will cheer when their Black student athletes are busting their guts to win trophy after trophy for the school. But off the field? They’ll joyfully hang them from trees. People ask why racism hasn’t died? Here is your answer. Their great-great-grandparents, their great grandparents, their parents, all passed it down to them and they are simply carrying on tradition. Some people refuse to acknowledge that institutional racism exists. Here is institutional racism for you. These people are going to be the cops, lawyers, judges, bankers, university officials, teachers, realtors, city council members, etc., who make sure they harass Black residents like it was seen in Ferguson, who make sure they profit from the school to prison pipeline that destroys Black lives.

Who make sure that they provide bad loans to Black families as was revealed post 2007/2008 financial crisis. Who make sure that when showing Black families new homes, they show them way less than they show white families; even though their credit is stellar. This is not just about the University of Oklahoma. This just happened to be recorded and went viral this time. These are the racists who will interact with our Black children in all walks of life. This is the rot that is festering under the foundation of this country. It’s not just one isolated incident. We’ve made progress no doubt, and we will continue to make more. But for Black people, this is scary. This is hate. If they hadn’t been caught, what further dangerous steps would they have taken? This is how hate can lead to destruction. All because you don’t like the color of someone’s skin.

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Thank you again, Mr. Yardarm for this. Relevant yesterday, today, and tomorrow

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Continue reading ‘How Hate Can Lead To Destruction’

08
Mar
15

A Tweet Or Two

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Continue reading ‘A Tweet Or Two’

11
Nov
14

To Our Veterans, We Say Thank You

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White House: BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Since the birth of our Nation, American patriots have stepped forward to serve our country and defend our way of life. With honor and distinction, generations of servicemen and women have taken up arms to win our independence, preserve our Union, and secure our freedom. From the Minutemen to our Post-9/11 Generation, these heroes have put their lives on the line so that we might live in a world that is safer, freer, and more just, and we owe them a profound debt of gratitude. On Veterans Day, we salute the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who have rendered the highest service any American can offer, and we rededicate ourselves to fulfilling our commitment to all those who serve in our name.

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Today, we are reminded of our solemn obligation: to serve our veterans as well as they have served us. As we continue our responsible drawdown from the war in Afghanistan and more members of our military return to civilian life, we must support their transition and make sure they have access to the resources and benefits they have earned. My Administration is working to end the tragedy of homelessness among our veterans, and we are committed to providing them with quality health care, access to education, and the tools they need to find a rewarding career. As a Nation, we must ensure that every veteran has the chance to share in the opportunity he or she has helped to defend. Those who have served in our Armed Forces have the experience, skills, and dedication necessary to achieve success as members of our civilian workforce, and it is critical that we harness their talent.

U.S. President Barack Obama participates in the dignified transfer of U.S. Army Sgt. Dale R. Griffin at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware

Across our country, veterans who fought to protect our democracy around the globe are strengthening it here at home. Once leaders in the Armed Forces, they are now pioneers of industry and pillars of their communities. Their character reflects our enduring American spirit, and in their example, we find inspiration and strength. This day, and every day, we pay tribute to America’s sons and daughters who have answered our country’s call. We recognize the sacrifice of those who have been part of the finest fighting force the world has ever known and the loved ones who stand beside them. We will never forget the heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice and all those who have not yet returned home. As a grateful Nation, let us show our appreciation by honoring all our veterans and working to ensure the promise of America is within the reach of all who have protected it.

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With respect for and in recognition of the contributions our service members have made to the cause of peace and freedom around the world, the Congress has provided (5 U.S.C. 6103(a)) that November 11 of each year shall be set aside as a legal public holiday to honor our Nation’s veterans. NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim November 11, 2014, as Veterans Day. I encourage all Americans to recognize the valor and sacrifice of our veterans through appropriate public ceremonies and private prayers. I call upon Federal, State, and local officials to display the flag of the United States and to participate in patriotic activities in their communities. I call on all Americans, including civic and fraternal organizations, places of worship, schools, and communities to support this day with commemorative expressions and programs. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.

BARACK OBAMA

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Jacqueline O’Boomer

My deepest appreciation to all of our TOD veterans (and the veterans in our individual families) … in advance of Veterans Day ~ at “the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month” ~ and always!

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A faded photograph
A comrade’s name and address
In the bottom of an old shoebox
Wondering if the uniform would still fit
And where the medals are.
Remembering how you missed
The home-cooked meals
And Sunday night dinner at Mother’s
And now you find yourself
Missing them again.
Remembering there was no escaping
Until your “hitch” was up
The sights and sounds
Your uncertainty you would prevail
Memories that burn in the night.
You are now a Veteran
A Veteran!
Duty has become honor
You kept your country free
You kept so many free.
And every time you see the flag
You see it through misted eyes
It hits you every time
It’s part of your story
Forever, a Veteran.

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02
Oct
14

Chat on – National Poetry Day

Amiri Baraka – Why’s/Wise

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T.S. Eliot – The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Continue reading ‘Chat on – National Poetry Day’

02
Sep
14

Night owl chat – Words, with Richard Burton

More of the first art, with the immortal voice of Richard Burton.

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Robert Graves – “Welsh Incident”

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Ernest Dowson – Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae

Continue reading ‘Night owl chat – Words, with Richard Burton’

21
Jul
14

Night Owl Chat: A Little Poetry

Hat tip to our own Yardarm for this one: Vanessa Marco – Patriarchy

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Carrie Rudzinski – In America

Continue reading ‘Night Owl Chat: A Little Poetry’

28
May
14

RIP Maya Angelou

Today we received word that the great poet Maya Angelou died. This is a tribute.

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His Day is Done

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The Mask

Continue reading ‘RIP Maya Angelou’

18
May
14

Sunday evening chat – Poetry

Here are a few gems gleaned from YouTube.

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e.e. cummings – i carry your heart with me

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Pablo Neruda – If You Forget Me

Continue reading ‘Sunday evening chat – Poetry’

16
May
14

Chat on – Spring

A little taste of Spring for your Friday.

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Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

— Gerard Manley Hopkins

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Chat on, springbirds!

05
Apr
14

Night owl chat – That famous Obot, Michael McDonald (and a poem)

Earlier today I expressed my, um, less than fond regards for noted musician Michael McDonald. I was then made aware that Mr. McDonald is a fierce Obot, who has taken fan displeasure in speaking out for Pres. Obama. So, in expiation, some of Mr. McDonald’s oeuvre. BUT, only with the Doobie Brothers; I can go a lifetime without listening to “Sweet Freedom” again.

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I Keep Forgettin’

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Takin’ it to the Streets

Continue reading ‘Night owl chat – That famous Obot, Michael McDonald (and a poem)’




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