First Person: Veterans Museum's Poet Laureate On Honoring All Who Served

Monday, November 6, 2017
By Marissa Cabrera
Credit: Veterans Museum at Balboa Park
Above: Alyce Smith-Cooper, poet laureate at the Veterans Museum at Balboa Park in an undated photo.

Saturday is Veterans Day. It is a day to remember and honor current and retired members of the U.S. military.

One San Diegan who has been reflecting on the contributions of veterans and their families is poet Alyce Smith-Cooper. The Veterans Museum in Balboa Park recently named her the museum's inaugural poet laureate.

Smith-Cooper, whose husband served as a Marine during the Korean War, said she hopes to organize events and arts programs to help veterans heal and bring military families together.

"Particularly people of color, because they're underrepresented at the museum," Smith-Cooper said. "I want to honor the paygrades that most of the people of my era of the military were able to experience, the cooks, the stewards, the everyday enlisted people who didn't have opportunities to be officers. The unsung and the unacknowledged."

As part of our First Person series, Smith-Cooper, talks about what being poet laureate means to her and how she's honoring San Diego's veteran community through her work.