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Poetry for Flag Flying Days

There are 20 dates in 2014 on which Americans can officially fly their flags in recognition of their countrymen and the United States of America. January 1 is the first day of each year on which to officially honor the Stars and Stripes.

Three flags fly at Veterans Park at the Bridge in Napoleon, Ohio. They are the State of Ohio (left), Old Glory, (center), and the POW-MIA (right), which gives recognition to Prisoners of War and those Missing In Action.

Three flags fly at Veterans Park at the Bridge in Napoleon, Ohio. They are the State of Ohio (left), Old Glory, (center), and the POW-MIA (right), which gives recognition to Prisoners of War and those Missing In Action.

*****Flying Old Glory

There are birthdays,
Washington’s and Lincoln’s,
which are Presidential;
we fly the flag, our beacon,

for them and all who the
Oval Office have occupied,
raising Old Glory so to
not ever side, or hide.

In February, we celebrate
their birthdays on two days,
February 12th and 17th, but
recognize all, as we may,

and give January 20th to
the junior Martin Luther King
alone; he whom we honor
singularly. He, also, let freedom ring.

In May is VE Day.
On the eighth we
remember those all,
without saying “me”.

Mothers of our hearts
we celebrate on a day
in May, too. We treasure
their quiet, guiding way.

Armed Forces Day, Memorial
Day; those are reflective times
that bring tears and new
fear to old, dwindling minds.

Flags of Our Fathers combine
in June on the 15th and 14
in honored debt we cannot
repay; only do we honor more.

Labor Day, VJ Day, Patriot Day!
Ah, these see Old Glory reign!
And we, free and eager to
remain, celebrate on that train!

The labored freedom train chugs
to Columbus Day, Elections
Day, Veterans Day, and ends
at Thanksgiving Day connections.

Once again, in December, we
remember, solemnly, a day of infamy,
a day surpassed, joyously, with
a new Christmas and Epiphany!

Flag flying days in order of date in 2014 include the following:
January 1 — New Year’s Day
January 20 — Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
February 12 — Lincoln’s birthday
February 17 — Washington’s birthday (observed)
May 8 — VE (Victory in Europe) Day
May 11 — Mother’s Day
May 17 — Armed Forces Day
May 26 — Memorial Day
June 14 — Flag Day
June 15 — Father’s Day
July 4 — Independence Day
September 1 — Labor Day
September 2 — VJ (Victory in Japan) Day
September 11 — Patriot Day
October 13 — Columbus Day
November 4 — Elections Day
November 11 — Veterans’ Day
November 27 — Thanksgiving Day
December 7 — Pearl Harbor Day
December 25 — Christmas Day

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Credit:
Poem and Photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

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Poetry for Military Personnel2

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***** Fly Her High

Today fly the flag high;
that’ll bring a reverent sigh.

Blue as blue, and red and white;
raise her to a glorious height!

Honor those who for her died;
they evermore will not hide

from our hearts and our souls,
as they are remembered for tolls

of death and bravery in our wars,
and for the sacrifices they bore.

Remember them with this flag of “night”!
Let nothing honor deter, but pray of their might!

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REMAINING Flag Flying Days in 2013:
November 28 — Thanksgiving Day
December 7 — Pearl Harbor Day
December 25 — Christmas Day

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Credit:
Poem and photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

Poetry for Military Personnel

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***** A Soldier’s Neighborhood

I heard you came home the other day
to a country that doesn’t greet,
and now you can’t make a living;
you’re reduced to begging on the street.

Your Mom called; I offered to do what I could,
cancelled a day’s work to come your way
before beginning my travel, after “Mom”
told me for employment you’d pray.

As I walked the steps to “Mom’s” door,
I looked over the old neighborhood and
had a cold fear that those dreams
soldiers many times have, had left their marks

on a soul I was beginning to fear
may never recover, as “Mom” said.
Where on earth could she be now?
Was the day just getting too heavy?

My second knock went unanswered, too.
I’d use the key from the planter; better.
A quick look around inside told me
no one was about; but I saw the letter.

It said “Mom” and stood upright on the mantel.
I suddenly thought of our childhood,
when our single moms so often had to meet.
Your mother ever staunchly withstood.

Mine would deliver a searing speech,
screaming,”What are the rules, you two?”
She’d glare us all down, into us rip,
“The street’s not the place to play!”

but my mother never won the war of words.
She’d jerk me to our door across the street
and exclaim to the listening neighborhood
I’d play no more with “that lady’s son”.

The next day, we’d start it all again,
snickering between ourselves as friends.
My mother said we’d never be smart, but
yours, our “Mom”, never predicted such ends.

I went to college while you chose war.
We drifted apart, made new lives and friends.
I wrote to you without receiving answers, but
the neighborhood days didn’t entirely end.

I had wondered every day if you were safe,
recalled your braggadocio and your strength.
But were the frightening nights hot, or cold?
And did the raining bombs make you shake

with fear you endured? I’d never know.
And my wife died without your knowledge.
The Army became your final home, and
I remarried, gratefully gained two sons.

My mother died while yours flourished,
so I came to her, our “Mom”, when she
called and said you’d been wounded and you
were anxious; she worried you’d flee.

The neighborhood looks the same today,
except for the house I left years ago.
At the opposite curb, your house is empty.
You’re missing in the neighborhood flow.

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Credit:
Poem and photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

Riot Diet

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***** Riot Diet

I wanna be much more less of me,
and tomorrow I’m gonna start to try.
I don’t wanna die a heavyweight,
and I’m not gonna tell you a lie.

I wanna stuff in more white bread,
but I’m not gonna give in to spread.
I wanna be much more less of me,
and I’m gonna start drinking tea.

I wanna be like those thin ones over there,
and I’m gonna be ready for high sacrifice.
I don’t wanna live like an ugly glutton, so
I’m gonna button down on the thin advice.

I wanna get back to my high school weight,
and I’m gonna be the perfect, shapely mate.
I don’t wanna carry these extra pounds, so
I’m not gonna be an excessive eating hound.

If I’m gonna be me for eternity and more,
then I don’t wanna cook for you at all.
Matter of fact, I’m gonna find a new loving you,
and I wanna do it even if it’s a major brawl.

I wanna, and I’m telling you very plain,
so don’t think I’m gonna sit around blue.
I wanna step away from all temptation,
and I’m gonna do it if I have to eat glue.

I wanna be as clear as these fabled lines.
I’m gonna learn a new fatless way to chew.
I wanna be thin by the time I’m twenty-one, so
I’m gonna have this diet done by eight. Whew!

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Credit:
Poem and Photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

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Mothering

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***** Mothering

Nothing is about holding on.
All is about letting go:
You know.

Could I hold,
I wouldn’t scold.

Could I screen,
I wouldn’t scream.

If my dreams for you
could be true,
I need not be blue.

If all were pure joy,
you would simply be
My Toy.

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Credit:
Poem and Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg