Stan Crader

Author & Lecturer on Writing About Rural America

We Honor The Fallen

The following from the website of Resurrecting Lives…www.resurrectinglives.org

We Honor the Fallen

For 150 years, American citizens have been honoring military members who have sacrificed their lives for our freedoms.  Memorial Day, or Decoration Day, as it was formerly known, began in 1868 as a formal day of honor and gratitude to our dead defenders.  Resurrecting Lives Foundation is deeply grateful for all those military members who have done what was necessary to secure our most basic rights.

Various versions of this poem have appeared in emails and on the internet, and we are proud to share here the original version, published by the author, a US Army veteran, in 1970.  We have no doubt that Mr. Province includes all members of all branches of service in his definition of “soldier.”

It is the soldier, by Charles M. Province

It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

©Copyright 1970, 2005 by Charles M. Province

 

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