Thursday, November 11, 2004


Veterans Day

Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
(Shakespeare, Henry V)

Today, let us remember and give thanks
for those who made it possible.
In my family, I would remember
that before we were a nation,
there was Mouns,
and others whose deeds did not get recorded,
shaping a new home in the wilderness,
then John and Mark, Joshua and George and James and Edward
who fought to free us from England,
Henry and another Edward
who fought them the second time around,
And any others whose names were lost.
Later, when blood between brothers grew cold,
then hot,
there was Gilbert, and Hugh, and William and Solomon,
Francis, John, Hiram,
The McCarley boys, the Byars cousins and others,
some who lived to tell the tale and some who didn't,
who witnessed what happened with brothers hate.
There was George who fought in Cuba,
And then when Europe called,
Jesse went, and others, too -
William answered the call, and spilled blood at St. Etienne,
saving his soldiers while wounded,
including the man who was the brother
of his wife to be, Earl.
Later his son would serve once again
when the trumpet of war sounded,
and one of his cousins bled and died
on the beaches at Normandy.
Julian too, answered the call,
and saw Europe through,
and Korea and Vietnam.
To him add Dale and Jack and Warren and Byron,
Veterans all.
This is how our country was shaped,
by those who rose to answer the call,
for whatever the reason.
Let us never forget their sacrifice.

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