A Writer's Journey

May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
Tags: , ,

In honor of Memorial Day, I will be posting excerpts from a poem instead of a regular blog post.


This particular poem is by Ella Wheeler Wilcox and was written for Civil War veterans gathering together.

After the battles are over,
And the war drums cease to beat,
And no more is heard on the hillside
The sound of hurrying feet,
Full many a noble action,
That was done in the days of strife,
By the soldier is half forgotten,
In the peaceful walks of life.

Just as the tangled grasses,
In summer’s warmth and light,
Grow over the graves of the fallen
And hide them away from sight,
So many an act of valor,
And many a deed sublime,
Fades from the mind of the soldier,
O’ergrown by the grass of time.

Not so should they be rewarded,
Those noble deeds of old;
They should live forever and ever,
When the heroes’ hearts are cold.
Then rally, ye brave old comrades,
Old veterans, re-unite!
Up root time’s tangled grasses —
Live over the march, and the fight.

Oh, boys who died for the country,
Oh, dear and sainted dead!
What can we say about you
That has not once been said?
Whether you fell in the contest.
Struck down by shot and shell,
Or pined ‘neath the hand of sickness,
Or starved in the prison cell —

We know that you died for Freedom,
To save our land from shame,
To rescue a periled Nation,
And we give you deathless fame.
‘Twas the cause of Truth and Justice
That you fought and perished for,
And we say it, oh, so gently,
Our boys who died in the war.

Saviours of our Republic,
Heroes who wore the blue,
We owe the peace that surrounds us —
And our Nation’s strength, to you.
We owe it to you that our banner,
The fairest flag in the world
Is to-day unstained, unsullied,
On the summer air unfurled.

We look on its stripes and spangles,
And our hearts are filled the while
With love for the brave commanders,
And the boys of the rank and file.
The grandest deeds of valor,
Were never written out,
The noblest acts of virtue,
The world knows nothing about.

And many a private soldier,
Who walks his humble way,
With no sounding name or title,
Unknown to the world to-day,
In the eyes of God is a hero;
All such he will reward,
No deed however secret,
Is hidden from the Lord.

Happy Memorial Day!

marker The marker in front of my grandfather’s grave indicating his service in the Second World War.


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