A Poem by Jerry McConnell
Atlantic News, Thursday, November 14, 2002
Their friends and colleagues voices to hear.
They bowed their heads as prayers were said
To honor their comrades, living and dead.
The sorrowful "Taps" on the bugle was played
As heads bowed down and silently prayed.
They thought of better days long since gone by
When all were healthy, young and spry.
They went into battle absent all fear
And reasons for doing so were very clear.
It was love of family and country, too
And pride in serving the red, white and blue.
More than 70 years had passed for many there
Who stood tall at attention in crisp November air.
But even younger Veterans who were by their side
Remembered service to our country with deep inner pride.
"Ask not what your country can do for you," one President declared.
An unselfish and patriotic view that most all Veterans have shared.
They asked for no special favors when they answered the call.
And millions got no special favors when they gave their all.
A young boy asks his young father, "What’s a Vet, Dad?"
And in trying to answer, the young father looks sad.
"Some people say it’s someone who treats animals, Son,
But it’s really someone who won’t quit till our battles are won."
"And we’ve had many like that in this land of the free
Who thought not of their own peril, but only of you and me."
Then as shadows lengthen and skies turn gray,
Once more we salute our warriors on Veterans' Day.