This is what Memorial Day is all about: The Bobs, Jimmeys and Johns and now the Janes and Marthas. At least one day of the year, we can give this much.
JUST A SIMPLE SOLDIER
He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast
And he sat around the Legion telling stories of the past,
Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done
In his exploits with his buddies; they were heroes, everyone.
And ‘tho sometimes to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,
All his buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.
But we’ll hear his tales no longer, for old Bob has passed away
And the world’s a little poorer, for a soldier died today.
No, he won’t be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,
For he lived an ordinary, very quiet sort of life,
He held a job and raised a family, quietly going on his way;
And the world won’t note his passing; ‘tho a soldier died today.
When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing and proclaim that they were great,
Papers tell of their life stories from the time that they were young,
But the passing of a soldier goes unnoticed, and unsung.
Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land
Some jerk who breaks his promise and cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow who in times of war and strife
Goes off to serve his Country and offers up his life?
The politician’s stipend and the style in which he lives
Are sometimes disproportionate to the services that he gives,
While the ordinary soldier, who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal, and perhaps a pension small.
It’s so easy to forget them, for it was so long ago
That our Bob’s and Jim’s and Johnny’s went to battle, but we know
It was not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom that our country now enjoys.
Should you find yourself in danger with your enemies at hand,
Would you really want some cop-out with his ever-waffling stand?
Or would you want a soldier who has sworn to defend
His home, his kin, and country, and would fight until the end?
He was just a common soldier and his ranks are growing thin
But his presence should remind us, we may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict, then we find the soldier’s part
Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.
If we cannot do him honor while he’s here to hear the praise,
Then at least let’s give him homage at the ending of his days.
Perhaps a simple headline in the paper that might say:
OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING, FOR A SOLDIER DIED TODAY.