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Published:May 24th, 2013 16:58 EST
Memorial Day: Do you Remember Those Who Served?

Memorial Day: Do you Remember Those Who Served?

By Ed Roberts

There are certain days we all should remember


They gather in silence
Rows of men and women
Some in wheelchairs
Others with their walkers
Old and young
Standing shoulder to shoulder
Some broken
By time
And circumstance
Each with their own story to tell

Donald served with Patton
Drove his jeep
Across most of Europe

Jessie was at Pearl Harbor
Watched the first planes fly over
Lost his leg later that day

Michael served in Korea
Was shot five times
Before they finally sent him home
He said that he`d go back tomorrow
But at 72
I doubt there is much of a chance

Mary went to Vietnam
As a nurse
Was shot in the hip by a sniper
She stayed for hours with the injured
Before she finally got help for herself

Bill was injured in Desert Storm
The first one
At 34
He stands out amongst his elders
A reminder to us all
War does not discriminate
When it comes to its victims
He too would serve tomorrow
If he only had his legs

Before these heroes
Young men in uniform present the colors
We all share a pledge
Whose words were paid for
By these and so many others

Seven men march to the center of a field
Raise their rifles
And fire to the heavens
Three times each
Twenty-one shells in all
Fall to the grass at their feet

Names are read of the fallen
A bell tolls for each one
The list goes on as everyone listens
A father or brother
Some just another man`s friend
A special name
They each hope to hear

After the last name is read
Taps echoes across the pavilion
Men who stood in the face of horror
Try to wipe away their tears
Before others notice

With a short prayer
The ceremony is over
Just another Monday for so many
A day to kick off their summer

For me
A Memorial Day
I will always remember
For on this day
I rang the bell for my Father
And this simple chime
Rings in me still

I walk away slowly
With an empty shell casing in my pocket
Held closely
To my heart

Ed Roberts 5/29/06

Taken from my last book "Whispers, Tears, Prayers, and Hope"

Another poem from the same book that is close to my heart

Tears of a Soldier

A mother stops for a moment
At her mailbox
The flag is down
The mailman has come
And gone
It`s been three months
Since her last letter from her son
The son that is now so far away
She whispers a prayer
As she reaches for the door of the box
And slowly reaches inside
Nothing but bills
She says out loud to herself
With a tone of relief in her voice
She quietly takes the hand full of envelopes
Into the house
Sits at the table and starts to open them
Still it has been three months
She sets aside the envelope in her hand
Bows her head
And whispers her prayer
Please God
Keep him safe
Just one more day
She reaches for box of tissue
The one she keeps on the table
Just for this purpose
And gently wipes away her tears
Tears she cries for her son
The soldier

The telephone rings
It`s nine PM
She rushes to try and catch it
Before the next ring
The baby has just fallen asleep
She pauses though
As she reaches for the receiver
It`s been three months
Three long months since she has heard from her husband
With hesitation in her voice she answers
She breaths a sigh of relief
It`s his mother again
No mail today
They talk for nearly an hour
Try and convince each other
Everything will be just fine
She hangs up the phone and collapses on the sofa
Drowns the cushion once again with her tears
Tears she cries for her husband
Her husband that is  working so far away
Her husband the soldier

He crouches alone in an alley
Safe for the moment
From the hell that has constantly engulfed his world
It`s been three months
He tells himself
They are probably worried sick
He pulls out his notepad and pen
And with the light of a broken streetlamp
He takes time to scribble just a few words
Everything here is fine.
Miss yall more and more each day.
Take care of Nathan and most of all
Take care of each other.
He shoves the letter in a battered envelope
One of several
He keeps folded in his jacket
He plans to drop off
Whenever he gets the chance
If ever he gets the chance
He carefully stores his pen and paper
And once again gets back to work
Working at a job
He knows could at any moment end his life
Still someone has to be there
And he has seen what could happen
If no one was
As he slips back on his helmet
He wipes away the tears with his sleeve
Tears he tries so hard to disguise
For some might see them as a sign of weakness
Tears he cries
Far more often than he would like to admit

The tears of a soldier

Ed Roberts 11/08/06