Monday, May 30, 2011

Not In Vain (Minstrel Mondays)

It's Memorial Day in these United States, and that means we should take some time out of our busy day and reflect upon the sacrifices that have been made, and continue to be made, by those brave men and women who serve in America's armed forces.  They serve with honor and distinction for low pay and benefits, and so many have paid the ultimate price to preserve America's sovereignty and promote liberty abroad.

Years ago, I wrote a curious little poem about a soldier who falls in battle.  I present it today as a tribute to Veterans and their families.

General George Washington

There I stood at the turn of midnight.
I would make the world remember my plight.
I never wanted to die a vain and sorrowful death.

So I came to this place on the edge of the sea,
to fight our enemies in the time of need.
I hadn't thought about consequences,
about the troubles it could cause.
If I happened to bite it now
It would hurt my love.
I'm sorry she forgot my pride.

Here was my shot at eternity.
No turning back like some fools I'd seen.
No where to run, no chance to flee;
to disgrace my honor as my brothers cried
I'd rather die.

I went about it, trying to stay alive
I'd never give in to the fear in my eyes
This moment I'd sought, when I’d been just a child
I never thought, never imagined,
it could be so bad.
And it made me sad to say goodbye.

This world is ever in need of heroes;
people who risk themselves
to make it safe for all others,
at the expense of their own lives.
If I had had a second dream,
I'd have stayed with my love,
and been a common man,
so I wouldn't die.
Not in vain.

It was down to the wire,
I was out in the open
when the tank shells came blasting,
the loud sound of cannons.
Glass it shattered and flesh it burned,
the people they cried,
for all their lives,
so insane.

I woke upon that sand again,
the ocean tide soaked my bleeding veins.
The people around me, they seemed so distant
as I gave out my final breath.
And so I sang a verse to them,
an antiquated stanza of forgotten prose,
I told them not to worry,
that I would be all right.
I could never die.

As I faded to sleep,
away from this stage,
I had to get home,
so I hopped on the spiritual wave.
I rode the currents until I found it,
this wondrous place I'd always seen
in my mind's eye,
when I was about to die.

I came back to you just to say goodbye,
and I heard you sigh.
And I saw that tear drop from your eye.
Please don't you cry for me, my dear,
just remember I died
not in vain.

You'll love again,
and I'll be there.

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