First off, I’d like to say thank you to all the men and women who have served this country in the past, who are serving now, and will serve in the future. The sacrifices you make – time away from your homes, your families, your loved ones, and the ultimate sacrifice, your lives, as well as the physical and emotional injuries you come back with – are greatly appreciated.
There are not enough variations on the phrase “thank you” that could ever be enough for you.
I wrote this poem, about ten years ago, called With Patriotic Glee, and thought this weekend was a good time to share it with you.
America the Beautiful – we sing with patriotic glee,
the statue in the harbor- is Lady Liberty.
Pulling his jacket tight – to fight the winter freeze,
praying for another meal – the soldier hits his knees.
New York bustles by him – without a second glance,
business suits and briefcases – another song and dance.
Old Glory still sings her song – even after all these years –
but how many of their widows – still shed mournful tears?
These soldiers in the background – watch their time grow near,
just memories from yesterday – through the looking-glass they peer.
Fireworks light up the sky – our great country’s anthem plays,
speeches are still made – on this, Memorial Day.
Another granite monument – erected in a park,
another wretched memory – awaits him in the dark.
Another name in stone – another battle scar,
another wooden box – beneath our stripes, our stars.
With justice for all – we hear ourselves say,
just a forgotten oath – by end of day.
These are the men – who died, who fought,
for these freedoms – that we’ve got.
Names come back on dog-tags – nobody wears anymore,
a battle fought across the foam – there on a distant shore.
These men are lost – like fading light,
forgotten heroes disappearing – into approaching light.
I will not forget everything you do to keep me, my friends, my family, and my country safe.