Memorial Day

Memorial Day we gather and pay homage to our fallen
Who gave themselves completely in response to duty’s callin’
Some joined to see the world, some thought “Adventure! Education!”
And others drawn by kinship with the proud that guard our nation

But trials and training molded them into a joined precision
That holds our cause in high esteem, and suffers no division
Our military crew stands tall, and ready for the battle
And ready, too, to give their all, impervious to rattle

They serve in combat, serve in peace, and make of one the other
Rebuilding schools to grant a lease of freedom to a brother
The tasks they face are sometimes grim, and few of us would choose them
And each one stands his place, and we are poorer when we lose them

But richer still are we, for still we keep Liberty’s fire
Not just for those at home — those far away know we won’t tire
And countries ‘cross the globe recall when we came to release
Oppressed ones from their bondage, and we brought a well-earned peace

Unlike the conquerors of times before, we keep no soil
Just what we need for plots to lay our soldiers freed from toil
Instead we show by doing that the freedom’s worth the cost
We mourn our dead, then lift our heads, go on without our lost

The brothers and the sisters of our noble fighting forces
Will tolerate no failures, and swift justice runs its courses
When someone fails the Code, and shames his uniform and brothers
There is no choice — deal with him harshly — we owe this to others

But all will bear in mind, for every wretched wreck decried
Ten thousand strong and more will earn our faith, and earn our pride
Indeed, we owe our troops far more than we can ever pay
But thanks to all who served, and fell — on this Memorial Day.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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