I saw a burial with a bugler playing taps;
I turned to my father, “what happened?” I asked.
He clutched my hand and with a quiver in his voice,
he began to explain and his eyes became moist.
“My son,” he said, “this is rather difficult for me;
for an old veteran like myself this is tough to see.
In that coffin lies a genuine patriotic warrior,
an honest-to-God hero, an American soldier.
I appreciate that soldier and the service he gave,
and I honor his sacrifice as he’s laid in his grave.
He was honorable, selfless, courageous, and bold;
please remember him son, as you grow old.
The value of his service, I must explain,
if not remembered, will be lost in vain.
As a nation we’re nothing without soldiers like him;
and failing to remember would be a terrible sin.”
I listened in awe as my father spoke,
it seemed as if his heart were broke.
I suddenly remembered when he went to war,
and when he returned I thought nothing more.
I never asked why he walked with a limp,
and I didn’t care about why he was sick.
I was too busy enjoying the life that I had,
to realize that I had it because of dad.
I finally understood what my dad was about,
and it hurt so bad I cried out loud.
He sacrificed so much so I could be free,
and his battle scars were suffered for me.
It was my father’s spirit that spoke to me that day;
thank God I finally understood what he had to say.
I saluted his coffin as they laid him to rest,
and I thought about the medals pinned on his chest.
That I didn’t honor him sooner, I will always regret;
and I pledged that day to never again forget.
I’m proud that my dad was a patriotic warrior;
I’m honored to be the son of an American soldier.
Lord, place Thy Hand on the yoke of those who fly,
And guide them through the vast reaches of the sky.
Bring them safely through their perilous flight,
And may they ever look to Thee as their Guiding Light.
Lord, protect the sailors who sail the treacherous seas.
Calm the roiling waters that they may cruise with ease.
May they always look to Thee as their Pilot for support,
And with Thy guiding hand, bring them safely home to port.
Lord, protect the soldier with Thy mighty sword midst the battle.
Give him strength to press on despite the muskets' rattle.
Hear his fervent supplication for Thy protection from all harm,
And provide him with courage as he leans on Thy eternal arm.
Lord, shield the brave marine as he storms the dangerous strand.
Strengthen him with fortitude and provide Thy protective hand.
Surround him with Thy angels as he strives to overcome the foe.
Bring him safely through the conflict and upon him honor bestow.
Lord, bless and provide comfort to his family, for they also serve.
Until that day they are one again, give them hope and steady nerve.
Hear their prayers O' Lord, for the safe return of heroes dear,
And from their trust, hope and faith in Thee, may they never veer.
Robert L. Hinshaw, CMSgt, USAF, Retired
(c) All Rights Reserved
He Lay Where He Had Fallen.
Enemy Fire Had Brought Him Down.
He Knew His Life Was Over,
As He Lost All Sight and Sound.
He Knew a Peaceful Sleep,
Amidst the Raging Guns of War,
But for Him the Fight Was Over.
He'd Gave His All..And More.
Oh, He Was Not Alone.
Others Have Fallen Too.
And Time Will Not Erase the Fact...
They Fell for Me and You.
We Owe These Men and Women,
For They Never Got Any Older.
We Didn't Even Know Them.
To Most of Us They Were..Unknown Soldiers.
So Rest in Honored Glory,
Each and Every One of You.
You Gave All You Had to Give...
For Freedom and the Red, White and Blue.
5 23 93
Africa; the land of great ancient myths
With culture diversified, but united mythos.
Traced to bear the ancestry of man
With the found evidence of modern humans.
Africa; like a rule of dynasty bestrides the equator
And encircles diverse unending climate sector
Stretching in awe-inspiring from the North Temperate Zone
Exuding the composite satellite imagery to the Southern pole.
Africa; a resource-rich and second-largest continent
With abundant natural resources that makes it pertinent
To the international community, especially the West
Such that they always want her to be their conquest.
Africa; they much talk about her in the global arena
But always present a mirror image of her aura.
They envy her diamonds, gold, coal, cocoa, and crude oil
That they glow while she mangles herself in turmoil.
Africa; whose stories are always told in a horrible manner
And images portrayed like all she holds is poverty and hunger.
But we know Africa is fascinating, invigorating, and amazing
With her azure clouds and vivid green lands that are unending.
Africa; embossed in awe moist grayness and magnificent mountains
With swirling long-lasting waterfalls stimulating her fountains
And inter alia scenic view of hills and crystal beaches
That marvels the tourists, and geologists see her as a peach.
Africa; muddled in kleptomania that has left her in wanton hardship
And her people glued to delusions that wash up their craftsmanship
Such that they often let her down by being unable to see
The aura of mystery in her versatile resources given by nature for free.
Africa; still muddling through despite the variegated challenges she faces
Needs her people to be well articulated and embrace with a game face
The clarion call that the time is long overdue to unite to rewrite her stories
For only Africans can tell better the untold stories about Africa’s histories.
Africa; I look at the east, west, north, central and south
I hear; and I see the youths strutting; and yelling for change in loud shouts
For they’re tired of bad governments, rebels, militants, genocide and warring
For their future is not of hatred, food crisis, diseases, but devoid of suffering.
We are one nation, one blood,
In times of sorrow, we calm each other,
In moments of horror, we cluddle together,
When we slip on the way, we hold each other,
When terror strikes, we defend together,
We are one nation, one blood.
We shed it for each other.
(Dedicated to my beloved Kenya in memory of Westgate attack. In times of difficult we have proved our unit and boundaryless love - God bless Kenya)
~No Chain, No Charm~
United we own
Firm, full of finest goodies-
Our ground of freedom.
United we stand
Firm from failure and horror-
On the ground of strength.
United we pray
Faithfully with open mind-
Our bliss is assured.
Americans are proud people
bringing peace to every steeple
causing wars they will not do
destroying enemies for their due
eating fast foods they will
forgetting all the thrill
God’s a tricky subject for some
having faith but no one will come
Indians have lost their lands
jackpot slots replace their sands
Kamikazes hit us hard
no one held a winning card
military keeps us safe
nuclear threat is unsafe
open arms policy long gone
Policing neighbors? Should be done
quit pollution always a goal
recovery is in my skull
science against religion
we’re better than a pigeon
understanding is the key
I hope we’ll always be free
war should never be the answer
with many falling to Cancer
youngsters keep growing up quickly
with parents becoming sickly
hold on to that American pride
we’ll take on challenges with stride
walking on their trails
beaten down and broken
shiny as the rails
the rails of the train
over used and rusted
the system that you trusted
the silence of conformity
the quiet crying song
of people lost in apathy
monotony so long
the old man remembered
the booming days of old
and tried to warn the youngster
with stories he had told
the young man in the t shirt
can hear no warning cries
covering his eyes
with complacent misdemeanors
from mass media feeders
the heretics will scream
with no one to hear their call
the working slaves will perish
society will fall
in the pulpit yelling
sweating like a demon
with fire in his eyes
passing round a dish
to collect the workers' wage
saving souls ain't easy
so he sets a stage
profiting from fear
preparing them for death
comfort is a business
says his liquor breath
on the front row fanning
the woman says amen
waiting for the bell
so she can live in sin
forgiveness is a blessing
that god will give to few
surely she'll be one
when her life is through
the child in the classroom
with the curious mind
will be beaten and conditioned
until she too is blind
"trust in the system"
is the motto that they teach
so higher you can reach"
the land of the free
the home of the brave
only for those of us
content with being slaves
some will stand on street corners
holding big white signs
telling of injustice
held beneath our sights
but those who throw the bombs
which burn society down
those will be the shakers
for true freedom to be found
but the sheep still continue
to justify their life
ignoring others torment
blind to their strife
selling bankers souls
to keep on consuming
to get the best remote control
to build themselves a shield
what kind of life is this
numbness is a virtue
and ignorance is bliss
We will never forget exactly where we were,
We will never forget exactly what we were doing,
We could never forget the loss we felt – 9/11/01.
We saw the birth of amazing heroes,
We mourned with the grief of thousands,
We marveled at the strength of the human spirit.
It was the day we held our children more closely,
It was the day the American Family was reborn,
And the day we became “One Nation, Under God.”
We heard those resounding words, “A plane hit the tower”,
We watched in disbelief as the second tower fell to earth,
And we heard the most heroic of words, “Let’s Roll!”
There were so many lessons that we learned,
There are so many memories to be held dear,
There was “Old Glory” – still standing to give us hope.
Firemen, Policemen, Clergy and Civilians-
Were taken from us in a few fleeting moments,
We saw a flight of angels, and an Eagle cry.
We became the strongest and most formidable of enemies,
The most united in spirit and purpose in decades,
We were filled with renewed honor and pride.
Yes, we lost the very innocence of our being,
We lost the complacency of everyday routine,
But yet we gained so much more.
For now we know the true meaning of so many, many words –
“Indivisible”, “In God We Trust”, “United We Stand”
and the most important of all -
“Greater Love Hath No Man Than This”…
Here's a toast to you America on this glorious Fourth of July!
May the grand old flag, the emblem of our nation, ever wave on high!
As we toast your birthday, may we always keep in mind,
That you're the grandest nation ever established by humankind!
Here's to the stalwart patriots who endured the Revolution,
And to the resolute framers of our precious Constitution!
Here's to all those courageous founders to whom so much is owed,
For creating our cherished liberties that we may remain unbowed!
Here's a toast to 'Honest Abe' who with steadfast resolve,
Triumphed over opposition that a united nation might evolve!
A toast to the pioneers as onward they relentlessly pressed,
To tame your virgin lands in their fearless westward quest!
Here's a toast to every soldier who has served this great nation,
For each has earned the title of 'The Greatest Generation!'
Here's to the common man who with skill and noble aspirations,
Helped you attain the title of 'The Greatest Of All Nations!'
A toast for welcoming to your shores the oppressed and weak.
You are a beacon of hope for this world and for that you are unique!
We honor you America and will hold high the red, white and blue.
Here's a toast to you America! May God's grace ever shine on you!
Robert L. Hinshaw, USAF, CMSgt, Retired
(c) All Rights Reserved