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

Alyce Smith-Cooper, poet laureate at the Veterans Museum at Balboa Park in an...

Credit: Veterans Museum at Balboa Park

Above: Alyce Smith-Cooper, poet laureate at the Veterans Museum at Balboa Park in an undated photo.

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


Alyce Smith-Cooper, poet laureate, Veterans Museum at Balboa Park


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.

Special Feature First Person

KPBS Midday Edition's First Person series tells the stories of average and not-so-average San Diegans in their own words. Their experiences, both universal and deeply personal, offer a unique lens into the news of the day.

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