Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Memorial Day Poem From A Vet

This is the Memorial Day weekend as you all know.   

Below is a poem a veteran who works with my daughter, Marni, wrote for the occasion.

Jewels of Freedom

Hear the echoes of history and time
Footfalls of soldiers marching in line

Where did they go, what did they say
Are you listening, do you care anyway

We shared a coke float at the local drugstore
He left on a bus to return no more

It was boot camp, training night and day
Then on to battle so far away

Pendleton, Polk, Benning and Dix
Many came, trained and humped across the sticks

What did you say, you heard a voice
From one long ago who had no choice

Its honor and pride, personal you see
That drives men and women who serve to be free

Why was it you and you and you
And not me, not me, not me too

When I turned you were gone from the drugstore stool
Only yesterday we were in high school

No Democrat, Republican, red or blue
Black, white, red, Muslim, Christian, Jew

Don’t ask, don’t tell, bullets fly
They know nothing and don’t ask why

Patriots, patriots strong and sure
Fear ever present but courage is pure

Why you and you and you
And not me, not me, not me too

I really can’t hear their faint cry
You see we are really busy you and I

Why should we bother on this Memorial Day
Oh your sister’s in Iraq did I hear you say

Have a hotdog and an ice cold beer
Not to be troubled with thoughts so dear

It’s hot baseball on a sunny day
Early celebrated on the 30th of May

Soldiers, sailors, airmen and crew
Marching and singing as they parade through

Did you ever wear a poppy to honor the dead
Most never heard of it, though it’s bright red

Why you and you and you
Not me, not me, not me too

Coral Sea to Corregidor
Normandy’s beaches, they are no more

From the central highlands of Vietnam
Battles in Ia Drang, Hue and Khe Sanh

Puff the magic dragon unleashed his terrible roar
Yet a single ground to air missile has ended this chore

I hear their voices soft and sweet
From Desert Storm and Iraq they meet

They rolled across the desert in M1 tanks
Pause, reflect and give thanks

From the mountains and passes of Afghanistan
Ghostly figures raise their hands

Remember, remember the sacrifice and call
Don’t neglect and forget those who gave all 

Why you and you and you
Not me, not me, not me too

What do I owe, the tab is great
The price of freedom will never abate

Freedom to succeed and freedom to fail
Petty politicians bark and wail

Peace they cry, why should we fight
There’s nothing to be gained by the use of might

Like gems that sparkle and diamonds that glow
Jewels of freedom are valuable you know

Wear them in remembrance of those precious and dear
Whose shining faces in the mist appear

Not for money, fortune, glory or fame
But for honor, country, family and name

How valuable are those gone before
Priceless I say, from freedom’s shore

A soldier’s tomb is oft a melancholy place
Where emotions and loved ones intersect and embrace

History and time march on to the drum
Do you know a soldier, have you lost someone

As you listen, listen the notes are clear
Trumpets playing taps in a cemetery near

Turn your head, give a nod and look their way
Recall their sacrifice this Memorial Day.

Gary A. Hall


Mike Golch said...

Thank you for sharing this,Thank you for your service and a Harty Thank you to the Veteran who wrote this.I did create a link.

Southern (in)Sanity said...

Thanks very much for posting this. That's a fitting read, especially for Memorial Day.

Momma Fargo said...

Great tribute and words. Thanks for sharing this...have a great holiday. I'm planting a tree in memory of my father. Busy day!

Miss Em said...

Thanks "Blog-Daddy".

I've a 1st cousin, a Marine, that I'm will be giving thanks to
doing a lot of praying for those he served with in 'Nam.

Miss Em