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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. 

Copyright © | Year Posted 2007

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Date: 4/5/2017 2:58:00 PM
Ed Coet, I honor you for this very patriotic write. Myself and thousands more just like me, feel this deep inside our hearts as we salute all our heroes. Thanks for sharing.
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Date: 7/28/2016 3:26:00 PM
I pray none of us ever forget the sacrifices of the men and women who serve in the military. Pray for their safety their safe return and their health. Thank each and every soldier with a smile and a handshake every time we see them. Because they deserve nothing less. And I respect admiration and consideration. If you see a vet in need help please.I'll just give to a charitable organization if you see a veteran of the United States homeless please personally find a way to help them at least smile
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Date: 11/18/2008 6:41:00 AM
What a beautiful poem, and I'm sitting here with goosebumps all up and down my arms. My husband comes from a military family, and my son, who is almost 15, has aspired to the military for many years now, so this poem has special meaning for me. Despite my fears about the dangers my son might face when he joins the service, I will be very proud of him for choosing a career that is so very important.
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Date: 10/15/2008 1:08:00 PM
This is a wonderful poem. I just wanted to drop in and add congratulations on having it chosen as one of the winners in John's contest to my other comment. I wish you continued success with your writing. Karen
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Date: 10/12/2008 6:13:00 PM
Absolutly brillaint and heartfelt an honorable poem, wow, so emotional as I was just at a Marine funeral last wekk...loved this, Kristin
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Date: 10/12/2008 3:06:00 PM
Ed an amazing poem - Congratulations on placing in Johns poetry contest and with your new book - I'll sure tell those I know of it for you - God Bless
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Date: 10/12/2008 9:38:00 AM
Congratulations Ed on your Honorable Mention in John's contest! Well done! (And congrats on your book too - much success!) Love, Shar
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