Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day 2007




By Mark A. Wright, HMC(SS)
22 June, 2000

I first saw him on a park bench
I've seen him every day
Sitting in a shady grove
Where my children come to play

Sometimes he feeds the birds and squirrels
Or whittles little toys
Sometimes he just sits and smiles
At the laughing girls and boys
And I never paid him any mind
'Till one day just this year
I noticed that he wore a frown
And on his cheek ... a tear.

Well I asked him why he seemed so down
He looked up, began to say
I lost half my friends 60 years ago today
He told me of the terror
As he fought to reach dry land
By the time the beachhead was secure
Half his friends lay in the sand

That was just in one long day
He fought on for 4 years more
And the 60 years from then to now
Have not dimmed His sights of war

He said they have reunions
Just to keep in touch and share
And for each comrade who has gone on
They leave an empty chair

Well, His park bench has been empty now
About 6 months or so
And if I'd never took the time
Then I never would've known
That sitting on that simple bench
With bread crumbs and little toys
Was a man who gave his all
To guarantee my daily joys

So give thanks to all the men and women
Who're still here or have gone before
And made the highest sacrifice
In both Peace time and in War
Because they bought our freedom
Paid their own blood, sweat, and tears
Then endured the heartache of those empty chairs
For all these years

So please do not ignore them
Or speed by without a care
'Cause you never know
When you might pass by
A hero, unaware

We owe a debt of gratitude to all the men and women who paid the ultimate price to secure our freedom and the freedom of others in different places in our world in many different wars. Originally this day was set aside to honor those who died in our Civil War. Now we honor all our war dead.

Since last Memorial Day, nearly 1,000 more men and women have lost thier lives in Iraq. No matter what your political beliefs or what you think of the war itself, we need to remember the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children and other loved ones who are grieving for the loss of that precious life.

Unlearned Lesson

Memorial Day
Of every year
The little valiant
Flags appear
On every fallen
Soldier's grave--
Symbol of what
Each died to save.
And we who see
And still have breath--
Are we no wiser
For their death?

~Dorothy Brown Thompson~

1 comment:

Deb said...

Wonderful tribute to our heros John.Thank You!!You are one of them!!

God Bless,
Deb