The National Veterans Foundation is pleased to feature a special Veterans Day project that uses art and the written word together. This project began as a collaboration between an artist and a poet in Crestline, California, a community in the San Bernardino Mountains.
Linda Harlan-White teaches a weekly Special Needs Adult Art Class to a group of mostly young adults who have developmental disabilities. Candace Pearson is a widely published poet who works as a freelance writer. When they decided to focus on Veteran’s Day ceremonies at the Veteran’s Memorial in Lake Arrowhead, a third collaborator, Maureen Mann, was drawn in from the VFW Auxiliary Post 9624 in Cedarpines Park.
Harlan-White’s students created watercolors inspired by images of flags, fireworks and the Statue of Liberty. Pearson drew poets from the mountain communities and other published Southern California poets who wrote short pieces that spoke to the art and honored the feelings behind it and the idea of service. The images with poems were printed in greeting cards that will be displayed at the 11/11/19 event in Lake Arrowhead and given to veterans who attend. The cards also will be for sale at a gallery in Lake Arrowhead maintained by the nonprofit Mountain Arts Network, a collective of artists that supports the Special Needs Adult Art Class.
Harlan-White and Pearson are especially pleased to bring together different communities for this project, and that the end result has such a worthy purpose.
Mountain Arts Network
Mountain of Promise
VFW Post 9624
During the daylight
the stars continue watching
the world we love, too.
The stars in the skies
came down to become shining
bright stars in my eyes.
— Tessa B. Dick
Echoes in the Wind
We are strong and steadfast
And lean without falling
Hearing echoes in the wind
Of our forefathers calling
— Vicki Robledo
Let freedom reign
In the nation that was fought for
And glory rain
On those who fought for it
— Irish Curtains
He was my friend.
We served together
until he gave
for our country.
His absence—a darkness.
Sing his gift
into our memory.
— Cathie Sandstrom
My parents traded their blue, gold and green banner
for the red, white and blue, and were glad for it. What
can the flag mean to the people who wave it? The flag
hitting ground means a country’s in a state of demise.
One vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, a rainstorm blew in.
The man who married my niece—he, an immigrant from
the Grenadines like my parents, and a Marine—ran to the
balcony to save the flag, to scoff at the idea of our demise.
— Lynne Thompson
When boundaries fade
Colors fill and flow through space
— Jeremy Schnieder
Path to Peace
After the many battles fought
against tyranny, the blood spilled,
we make a path to peace
each day, and here we are
living the right to be free.
— Brad Clarke
The Stars Among Us
On a watercolor flag, stars have burst from their blue
field, scattered across the world like so many millions
called from their comforts. A hundred years later, we
remember that war’s peace. In yet another eleventh
hour we honor those who served, who fought for peace
and brought it home. To us. It’s often called love.
— Brenda Yates
Blue sky, blue ocean climb into one another’s laps
and where they meet becomes a cape draped around
the world. Day dances into sunset and sweeps the air
in red, earth in a burst of fireworks celebrating freedom
and the multicolored ways we can become anything.
— Jan Wesley
Life comes in the details.
Those small moments that
only seem fleeting —
a kindness between friends,
moonshimmer ruffling the lake,
the red-tailed hawk riding thermals
for some new destination. Such
deliverance worth the celebration.
— Candace Pearson
Our Flag Still Waves
Angels buried in thickened smoke.
We all wept in the air that choked.
Fires spew from a dragon’s breath,
Shocked at the horror of the death.
I see the fallen spirits’ passion;
They’re light fading into ashen.
The colors of each soul and mind
Were precious lives then left behind.
— Virginia Paleno
To the Liberty
To the Liberty
The symbol of freedom
Symbol to our Vets
— Tony Congiardo
I raise my hand heavenward
I bow to bravery —
Blue and white, I reach
The red November sky and
Touch sweet freedom
— Susanna Fowler
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The worst part of war should not be coming home.