I've often said before that I do not glorify or enjoy anything about war. it is ugly, brutal, horrific and a sad reflection upon humanity in general but it happens and there are times when violence, bullying and aggression have to be met in kind. In those times our soldiers are so important. Gordon Lightfoot in his song Don Quixote said it well; "see the soldier with his gun who must be dead to be admired." Too often that is true.
So today we remember and honor all who have given so much since the birth of our nation to sustain and support our way of life and make us safe here at home. Only on a couple of occasions has our peace and security in our own land been broken--Pearl Harbor and 9-11. Those 'days of infamy' live in most memories and not happily. I was not around for the first but remember well the second.
This shot shows the Blue Angels (Navy flying team) going past the Statue of Liberty at an event a few years back. Both Navy and Marine pilots have flown in this elite group. The Navy and Marines are very closely affiliated but argue like kinfolk often do!
I hear the drum roll in my mind
and then I see, before, behind,
to join the Great Parade, at last....
From Flanders Fields and
's sands, Iwo
from nameless near and distant lands
where they have fought, bled and died
for to uphold the Nation's Pride
and secure the Peace and
today enjoyed by you and me...
Each heart with praise should overflow
and gladly search for ways to show
that we remember and we care
and at least in spirit share
their sacrifice, their gift, their pain.
We know they did not die in vain.
The torch still burns: we carry on
the flame kept bright by those now gone.
They're marching still, they're fighting yet;
and so must we...lest we forget.
Author's Note: Written for a tribute for Veteran's Day
and first recited at a ceremony held by VFW Post 10342 and its Ladies Auxiliary on 11 November 1986 in
. Permission granted to use at no cost for any patriotic purpose supportive of the Huachuca City, Arizona
sentiment in which it is written with credit of authorship to be given. Published in an anthology by World of Poetry, GMW. (c) 1986
BTW the photo of me was taken a couple of years later, when I was wearing that color guard's uniform. In keeping with our post being in Huachuca City, we called ourselves The Thunderguard and we were the only group in the VFW per a national commander at that time who had both post and auxiliary members in the same uniform! I was mostly the photographer but did march and carry a flag at times which I felt was a high honor. We had good esprit and for several years made a fine showing around southern Arizona.