by Colleen Reddaway Cook, 1997
Many have walked a path, a jagged road
Leading to tears of peace entwined with fears.
These times were not their chosen ways,
But soldiers took their stand.
The breezes of war, kiss their brow
Made the young old before their time
…and others ageless from the sound of reapers in the field.
They lived in a time of unfamiliar boundaries
Life made up of loyalty to our country and forced survival.
Preserving independence, rights and liberties
Freedom redeemed at countless costs
Common men and women performing uncommon acts of valor
Leaving behind all they have ever known
…Family, friends, jobs and mother-land.
Masses went, to fight upon foreign soils
Their faces have been forgotten,
But the wounds, the pains and the cries remain.
Tired eyes mourning from within, looking out at
Blood covered promises and sorrow worn victories.
Searching for, yet not wanting to find,
…Buddies that have fallen, the victims of war.
Pride in serving, the pain in remembering
Colors of the crimson soaked sod and blurred visions of the mind.
How thankful we should be, we should sing the tune of memories
Of forgotten heros standing at past history’s door
They went and came home, many returned in part…
Let us remember those who returned in lifeless form
…and never stop looking for those labeled M.I.A. and P.O.W.
Memorial Day, a time to pay tribute for the ultimate sacrifice.
Celebrate with your picnics, beach outings and reunions,
But teach your children about the sacrifices made,
Pride in the United States and the courage of the past.
Men and women, no matter how large or small the part,
Left their all behind, footprints of war imprinted in the annals of time.
Let us give them bitter-sweet honor of a hero-respect
…and a heartrending thanks.