Veterans Day, which was founded as Armistice Day to commemorate the end of World War I, is an occasion to honor those who have served the United States of America. One powerful way to show gratitude for their service is by reading and sharing poems of war, valor, and sacrifice. Browse the following classic and contemporary poems, including several written by poets who served in the United States armed forces. 

Classic Poems for Veterans Day

from “1915: The Trenches” by Conrad Aiken
All night long we lie…

Field Manoevures” by Richard Aldington
The long autumn grass beneath my body…

A Military Hospital” by Vera Brittain
A mass of human wreckage, drifting in…

Not to Keep” by Robert Frost
They sent him back to her. The later came…

To a Soldier in Hospital” by Winifred M. Letts
Courage came to you with your boyhood’s grace…

Convalescence” by Amy Lowell
From out the dragging vastness of the sea…

Inscription” by Herman Melville
To them who crossed the flood…

Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks…

Soldier: Twentieth Century” by Isaac Rosenberg
I love you, great new Titan…

Prelude: The Troops” by Siegfried Sassoon
Dim, gradual thinning of the shapeless gloom…

A Sight in Camp in the Daybreak Gray and Dim” by Walt Whitman
A sight in camp in the daybreak gray and dim…

In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Contemporary Poems for Veterans Day

Why I Don’t Mention Flowers When Conversations with My Brother Reach Uncomfortable Silences” by Natalie Diaz
In the Kashmir mountains…

The Long Deployment” by Jehanne Dubrow
For weeks, I breathe his body in the sheet…

Spoken from the Hedgerows” by Jorie Graham
To bring back a time and place…

that boy from georgia is coming through here” by Jaki Shelton Green
they changed curtains…

The War After the War” by Debora Greger
Where were the neighbors? Out of town?...

We Were All Odysseus in Those Days” by Amorak Huey
A young man learns to shoot…

Facing It” by Yusef Komunyakaa
My black face fades…

Thanks” by Yusef Komunyakaa
Thanks for the tree…

My Father on His Shield” by Walt McDonald
Shiny as wax, the cracked veneer Scotch-taped…

Oceanside, CA” by Marie-Elizabeth Mali
Balancing on crutches in the shallows…

Soldiers Washing (1927)” by Ricardo Pau-Llosa
Even washing is a task, in war and daily…

Phantom Noise” by Brian Turner
There is this ringing hum   this…

Read more poems for Veterans Day.