Friday, May 26, 2006

Poem 'The Glory of Their Spirit'
When destiny demanded and country called,
They in answer left our rolling hills
and great river valley and learned the arts of war.
Then, on and beneath restless waves of the deep
in endless skies and across vast oceans to island shores
on broad plains and barren hillsides, in dark forests,
on snow-covered mountains and in the rubble of smashed villages
and cities they faced and fought, with valor and dedication,
those who challenged our ideals and freedom and,
in the very vortex of combat were then greeted and embraced by Death.

The soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen were not born
to die in the youth of their lives - yet they did.
they were not born to die deaths of violence - yet they did

By cruel and broad circumstances of war, they gave their lives
that we might live our lives in liberty and peace

Never should we forget their ultimate sacrifice

We now in their memory carve their names in stone
and enshrine them in our hearts,
we now cast in eternal bronze, figures who in sorrow and
in the long, long thoughts of youth
reflect on the last measure of devotion given by those we now honor
and we join their mute and motionless yet eloquent presence
in their silent meditation.

Thinking not only of the passing of the departed patriots,
But remembering the glory of thair spirit.
--Richard W. Peterson

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