Monday, May 31, 2004

U.S.: Memorial Day


For all those who have served freedom's cause, who have fallen in battle, who live on with the memory of war, thank you.
FREEDOM ISN'T FREE

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
and then he stood at ease.

I looked at him in uniform;
so young, so tall, so proud.
With hair cut square and eyes alert,
he'd stand out in any crowd.

I thought, how many men like him
had fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many Mother's tears?

How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many foxholes were soldiers'
      graves?
No, Freedom is not free.

I heard the sound of 'Taps' one night,
when everything was still.
I listened to the bugler play
and felt a sudden chill.

I wondered just how many times
that 'Taps' had meant 'Amen',
when a flag had draped a coffin
of a brother or a friend.

I thought of all the children,
of Mothers and the Wives,
of Fathers, Sons and Husbands
with interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard
at the bottom of the sea,
of unmarked graves at Arlington.
No, Freedom isn't free!

Remember this ..... and

GOD BLESS AMERICA


The Burial Of Sir John Moore After Corunna
by Charles Wolfe (1791-1823)

Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
As his corse to the rampart we hurried;
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
O'er the grave where our hero we buried.

We buried him darkly at dead of night,
The sods with our bayonets turning,
By the struggling moonbeam's misty light
And the lanthorn dimly burning.

No useless coffin enclosed his breast,
Not in sheet or in shroud we wound him;
But he lay like a warrior taking his rest
With his martial cloak around him.

Few and short were the prayers we said,
And we spoke not a word of sorrow;
But we steadfastly gazed on the face that was dead,
And we bitterly thought of the morrow.

We thought, as we hollow'd his narrow bed
And smooth'd down his lonely pillow,
That the foe and the stranger would tread o'er his head,
And we far away on the billow!

Lightly they'll talk of the spirit that 's gone,
And o'er his cold ashes upbraid him—
But little he'll reck, if they let him sleep on
In the grave where a Briton has laid him.

But half of our heavy task was done
When the clock struck the hour for retiring;
And we heard the distant and random gun
That the foe was sullenly firing.

Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
From the field of his fame fresh and gory;
We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone,
But we left him alone with his glory.

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