Memorial Day 2001

Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends. 
John 15:13



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, every one.

And tho' sometimes, to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,
All his Legion buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.
But we'll hear his tales no longer for old Bill has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer, for a soldier died today.

He will not be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,
For he lived an ordinary and quite uneventful life.
Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way,
And the world won't note his passing, though 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 their whole 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
A guy who breaks his promises 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?

A politician's stipend and the style in which he lives
Are sometimes disproportionate to the service 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 the old Bills of our Country 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 want a politician with his ever-shifting stand?
Or would you prefer 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 just a simple headline in a paper that would say,


c. 1985 A. Lawrence Vaincourt


Recommended Reading for Memorial Day

Freedom Through Military Victory
R.B. Thieme Jr
Men who place a higher value on their wives, families, friends, and nation than on their own lives insure the survival of our cherished liberty. Just as the Lord Jesus Christ made the greatest sacrifice of all history on the cross—dying so that mankind might have eternal life—so the soldier sacrifices his time, his fortune, and sometimes his life that others might live in freedom. For those of us who are the beneficiaries of these two glorious sacrifices, revere our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and honor the intrepid men who provide freedom through military victory.

Patriot Hearts
William Coffee
An anthology of inspirational words and stories from American warriors, veterans, and patriots about the values and sacrifices th at created the freedoms now enjoyed by all Americans.  These words provide inspiration, motivation, and remind the reader of the price already paid for freedom, the value of liberty, and the price needed for continued vigilance to ensure the advancement of freedom. All are from people who love and support America, and all are from the heart.