In anticipation of Veterans Day, or Armistice Day as we once named it and Remembrance Day as it still is known in some countries, we proposed a writing competition on the subject of patriotism, a trait all too often claimed on and seemingly limited to stickers placed on the back of cars and other painless expressions. To make it meditative, we decided the writing would be in the form of a haiku,a form of contemplative poetry that consists of three lines. The first line contains five syllables, the second line contains seven, and the third line contains five. The submissions were crowded and, frankly, quite good. Our international panel of judges has combed through almost sixty submissions of haikus and found those that best combine the spirit of the contest and the equally elusive mission of writing the correct number of syllables. In the usual plonky way of saying ‘Everyone who entered won,’ I hereby declare that to be the case. Using Facebook for something that improves the mind and shares thoughts other than gardenville and gossip is itself a step forward for mankind, but the entries were uniformly good, even those that might not exactly have been a haiku or, for that matter, on topic. Enough said — the winners.

Honorable Mention:
Marcia Sergeant
Sonic boom shatters
Fighter pilots sky practice
A child shades his eyes

Ryan Huckabay
He stands for freedom
Mortar hits, smoke clears, legs gone
He is still standing

Category: Patriotism
Kyle Fulton Major
Each of us has cause
To think with deep gratitude
of those who have served

Category: Returning from War
Carolyn Schriber
My brother came home
All smiles outside; grief hidden
Scars of WW2

Overall Winner
Robyn Roche-Paull

In the dark, he leaves
Kissing me goodbye again
The months stretch ahead

Thank you, all of you and your sixty entries. You have made us all a bit better for your thinking and provoking us to think about the honor done by service in the name of the country.

Jack Woodville London
Author of the Year, Military Writers Society of America

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