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Veterans Day poems: the war in a six-word memoir

By Melissa Bell
Veterans Day, November 11, 2000. (Michael Lutzky)

When we rounded up some of the best online Veterans Day tributes Thursday, we missed one of the most moving pieces: Six-word memoirs from soldiers.

Taking a page from Ernest Hemingway lore and his six-word novel, "For sale: baby shoes, never worn," Smith magazine has been asking readers to submit their own memoirs over the past four years. More than 300,000 people have.

In honor of Veterans day, the magazine paired up with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America for a new project, "Six Words on Coming Home From War."


"These Six-Word Memoirs directly from those who've served, don't tell the whole stories, but they do provide a different, distilled perspective," Larry Smith, the magazine's founder, wrote on his blog.

The memoirs run from hilarious to devastating. "Girls, remember me? I'm your Daddy..." "Joined army; left legs in Iraq." "It's a hard road outta hell." "I am okay. Honestly. Maybe. Not."

See all the submissions here. PBS made an accompanying short film for a deeper look at three of the memoirs:

Watch the full episode. See more Need To Know.

By Melissa Bell  | November 12, 2010; 6:04 PM ET
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