12 Poems You Can Post On Memorial Day This Year To Honor The Holiday

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Memorial Day is widely known as the first "official" weekend of the summer. It signifies the beginning of long, sunny days that feel a lot more relaxing and stress-free. And while this holiday also means a three-day weekend, barbecues, and a whole lot of fun, it's always important to remember the significance behind it. Memorial Day is a holiday that honors and remembers the soldiers who lost their lives in battle fighting for our country. It's can be easy to forget that somber message, which is exactly why everyone should be reading some of the below patriotic poems for Memorial Day, and maybe even sharing them on social media. Sure, you could write some cheeky captions on Instagram about drinking and eating hot dogs, and that's fine — but sometimes, something a little more serious can be good.

The below poems are not exactly uplifting (that said, this holiday isn't meant to be uplifting), and some can be a little difficult to read, but still: they are all worth reading and analyzing. You can look into the background and meaning behind these poems, as some of them are pretty old, but one of the best things about poetry is that you can put your own meaning into what you're reading as well.

So, this Memorial Day, feel free to sit back, relax, take a break, and have a good time. But you should also remember why you're able to do that: because of the people who fought for your right for freedom. Take a look at the below poems, and consider posting them on social media to share with everyone.


"For The Fallen" By Laurence Binyon

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

Read it in full here.


"In Flanders Field" By John McCrae

We are the dead; short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved,

and now we lie In Flanders fields.

Read it in full here.


"The Watchers" By John Greenleaf Whittier

Two angels, each with drooping head

And folded wings and noiseless treads,

Watched by that valley of the dead.

Read it in full here.


"The Long Deployment" By Jehanne Dubrow

For weeks, I breathe his body in the sheet

and pillow. I lift a blanket to my face.

There’s bitter incense paired with something sweet,

like sandalwood left sitting in the heat

or cardamom rubbed on a piece of lace.

Read it in full here.


"Memorial Day for the War Dead" By Yehuda Amichai

Memorial day. Bitter salt is dressed up

as a little girl with flowers.

The streets are cordoned off with ropes,

for the marching together of the living and the dead.

Children with a grief not their own march slowly,

like stepping over broken glass.

Read it in full here.


"Ode To The Confederate Dead" By Allen Tate

Autumn is desolation in the plot

Of a thousand acres where these memories grow

From the inexhaustible bodies that are not

Dead, but feed the grass row after rich row.

Read it in full here.


"I Have A Rendezvous With Death" By Alan Seeger

It may be he shall take my hand

And lead me into his dark land

And close my eyes and quench my breath—

It may be I shall pass him still.

Read it in full here.


"The Soldier" By Rupert Brooke

If I should die, think only this of me:

That there’s some corner of a foreign field

That is for ever England. There shall be

In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;

Read it in full here.


"Freedom is Not Free" By Kelly Strong

I watched the flag pass by one day.

It fluttered in the breeze.

A young Marine saluted it,

and then he stood at ease.

I looked at him in uniform

So young, so tall, so proud,

He'd stand out in any crowd.

Read it in full here.


"Do Not Stand By My Grave And Weep" By Mary Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep,

I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am in a thousand winds that blow;

I am the softly falling snow.

Read it in full here.


"A Sight in the Camp in the Daybreak Gray And Dim" By Walt Whitman

Curious I halt and silent stand,

Then with light fingers I from the face of the nearest the first just lift the blanket;

Who are you elderly man so gaunt and grim, with well-gray’d hair, and flesh all sunken about the eyes?

Who are you my dear comrade?

Read it in full here.


"Decoration Day" By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

But in this camp of Death

No sound your slumber breaks;

Here is no fevered breath,

No wound that bleeds and aches.

Read it in full here.