Saturday, Nov 11, is Veterans Day. I have written a poem in tribute to those who gave their all in defense of our freedom and liberty. May we remember them on this their day especially.
20 ~ Veterans Day ~ 17
O’erseas they rest in Flanders fields,
Where the crimson poppies grow
Among a vast array of crosses, row upon row upon row.
They repose at Normandy, Sicily, North Africa, Egypt,
And throughout all of Europe, too.
They rest by the thousands, across the Pacific
At Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, and Manila Bay.
You may visit them on Okinawa and Peleliu-
And oh so many other far off places-on this their special day.
They lie in Virginia, more than four-hundred-thousand strong,
An endless display of white stone markers,
On more than six-hundred-acres of sacred ground,
As in the Trace Atkins song.
There they rest in peace “in the best of company.”
They are “the chosen ones.”
They made it to Arlington.
They repose amongst the scented pines in Maine’s smallest towns.
You will find them by the hundreds in Boston at Bunker Hill and the surrounds,
And in quiet places along Long Island Sound.
In Virginia and the Carolinas,
In cemeteries large and small,
Our valorous fallen can easily be found.
You will find our bravest heroes in cemeteries
All across our land, from sea to shining sea.
They await your visit on Veterans Day,
Where you will hear the lonely bugle’s call.
As the forlorn sound of “Taps” echoes across the vale.
Our American flag gently waves at each hallowed stone,
Names chiseled in granite tell their story to one and all.
Stop by, if for just one moment,
To say, “Thank you for your sacrifice,
And for unhesitantly answering duty’s call.
You need not fret, we will not forget,
Nor ever take your gift in vain.
Your bravery and courage in battle
Still echoes each and every name.”
“May you forever rest in peace
Knowing that for eternity your lying there,
Is testament to the price of freedom,
We alive can gratefully acclaim.
So today we take this moment
To acknowledge your unselfish service.
At dusk, when the call of “Taps” is heard,
From Arlington, to Kansas, to California, and beyond,
We’ll stand at your feet and silently sing freedom’s song.
On this Veterans Day, and for all those to come,
Rest assured, we will never forget you,
And remain ever grateful
To each and every one.