It's Memorial Day
It’s Memorial Day
I thumb through my high school yearbook,
Soiled, unpadded from another day.
My children don’t know of our mindset then,
The second war all wars to end.
Daily goodbyes to the boys we loved,
The face of the first one to lose his life to war,
In my yearbook.
Pages and pages of lists to follow,
Names of those then serving,
The movie news theater down town,
Hiding no graphic battle scenes, and
Finally showing those terrible discoveries
Of the Holocaust, a mad man’s horror show creation,
Once we were at a dance,
Three months later you were dead,
Any boy that held a teen girl,
Insecure, frightened, excited, clutched,
He must leave all he knew,
And fight for you.
Pictures from my yearbook,
Nearly all of you are gone by now,
Heroes, memories, when the newspapers screamed
“Anzio – The Bulge, The Bombs, Normandy The thousands!”
And then The Bomb.
Still not the end, for
Many yearbooks have followed;
Korea, Vietnam, El Salvador, Bosnia,
The Gulf, Iraq, Afghanistan;
It’s as if my tattered yearbook meant naught,
We thank you again and again.
We love you, our boys and girls,
And yes, you, too, old commanders and generals,
Who loved and love us with your last full measure.
So when we hear a roar at night,
It is only thunder because of you.
We pray your faces will never be
In a yearbook such mine –
That your captions will always be;
“Most Likely To Succeed,”
Thanks to those who have gone before,
Freedom will always be.
Copyright © Sunlite Wanter | Year Posted 2016
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