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They Didn’t Come Home

We have allowed the torch of freedom, a torch that once was a bright unquenchable flame, a torch that withstood all that evil despots and dictators could throw upon it, the torch passed on by dying hands, passed on by failing hands to sputter and dim, to fade, fade until it is no more than a weakened glow, until it no longer shines in the dark, dark night, and lights our way forward.

What would they think, all those young men that died in the great war to end all wars, the ones that stormed the beaches of Normandy, Italy, of Wake Island. Iwo Jima, and so many other places, the ones that spilled out their life’s blood into the thirsty sands of North Africa, and hallowed with such a great and final sacrifice every place they fell, if they could see and hear how we behave towards each other today.

They did not lay down their lives for us so we could be at each other’s throats, no they did this so we would have a free choice when it comes to electing a government. Remember, remember, these young men were Republicans, Democrats, Conservatives, Liberals, socialists, and they gave up their futures, their lives, not just for the ones that believed as they did, but for everyone, including you, and I.

It is for them, for their sacrifice, for their lives, lives cut so short, that I make this humble offering of these verses I have written. Verses that I hope, that I pray will make you forget for a moment your differences, and remember how much we owe them.

Play the Pipes Softly

The mist is gathering
in the high hills,
rolling in,
rolling in from the sea.

It spreads deep,
like a bedspread
of velvet,
over loch,
over burn.
over heather,
over you,
and over me.

So play the pipes softly,
soft as the mist
that is deepening
in from the sea.
Play them
at the going down,
going down of the sun.
play them
until the gloaming
fades fast away,
play them,
until the day is done.

Play them for the lost
and the lonely.
Play them for the soldiers
who die in every war.

Play them until
the sky starts to weep.
Play, as you’ve
never played them before.

Play them until
the sky starts to weep.
Play, as you’ve
never played them before.

Keeping Faith

I’m careful
where I tread,
for I’m not here
to disturb the dead.
I’ve come to honor those
that now forever lie
in Flanders Fields
beneath the silent sky.

As I walk between the lines
of crosses,
weathered by the frost of time,
I understand why the torch
must now be mine.
The one passed on
by dead, cold hands,
so many years ago.

And in my heart and mind
I promise to keep faith
with those
that forever lie
in this hallowed place,
where crimson poppies grow.

When the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month finds us where ever we may be, we stop and remember, remember those that didn’t come home, then we toss away our poppies, and go back to hating each other. I am appealing to you to think of those who have died in so many wars every day for the rest of your lives, because if it was not for their ultimate sacrifice, you would not have the opportunity to exercise your democratic right any day.

Please share this post with everyone you know, and ask them to do the same.

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