Every 72 Minutes

Today, on a day of National remembrances,

We pause to share our gratitude for the sacrifice.

For the few proud honorable men and women.

For the lost souls adorned with the stars and stripes.

The day of remembrance where messages contradict.

The valiant and brave warrior living a life in anonymity.

Wandering the void of mental health in conflict.

The flashbacks replaying their worse memories.

Medicating the PTSD in a veiled attempt to cope.

A cocktail of trauma and fears on virtual replay.

The norms of society at the end of their rope.

A homeless soul whose lost meaning along the way.

The heroes the battlefield never allows to leave.

Memory’s photos etched into the subconscious mind.

A recall so vivid they can hear their friend bleed.

A constant search for a peace they can never find.

Every 72 minutes a veteran seeks solitude in suicide.

Silenced by the anger they could no longer suppress.

Draped in guilt and a deep sadness they could no longer hide.

Bringing closure to the pain they can no longer depress.

Every 72 minutes we lose a story yet to be told.

We lose a soldier that blames themselves for being alive.

A hero whose future will never be allowed to unfold.

A stranger’s flag that will cease to wave against a blue sky.

A veteran whose potential will never be revealed.

A tombstone in limbo absents from the memorial.

A brilliant but lost soul unceremoniously healed.

A missing page in history now…government sealed.

We honor those coping with a mental illness they fight to survive.

We pray those lost souls may have a peaceful place to lay at rest.

As the 72-minute clocks run down…we lose another to suicide.

Solemn graves serve as a home and haven for the strange and dispossessed.

Every single day, 22 veterans take their own lives.

An epidemic of historical proportions quietly unveiled.

In our day remembrance, pause to reflect on the sacrifice.

Fight for our soldiers and pray this is a war over which we can prevail.  

©Joseph Clementi

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