Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day 2006

It Is The Soldier, Not The Preacher,
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 Protester Who Burns The Flag,

Who Has Given Us The Freedom To Demonstrate.
It Is The Soldier, Not Lawyer Or Judge,

Who Has Given Us The Right To A Free 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 Under The Flag...
And Whose Coffin Is Draped By That Same Beloved Flag
When His Tour Of Duty On Earth Is Over.

May God's Blessings be with all of our military. Amen.

Written by Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, Sergeant, USMC

Memorial Day has always been important in my family. From my youngest years, Grandpa would talk to me about the honorable men who fought for and died for our country. We would go to the cemetery, and, as a small child, I would count the flags. I didn't truly comprehend what it all meant, but it gave me the foundation that told me that it was important - truly important. As a teen, Puna would take us to the military cemetery at Punchbowl. He would say, "You walk here and you read the names so that their names are called up for their dedication to something bigger than themselves, something that lets you enjoy each day." Again, it was foundation - something I never forgot. As Memorial Day rolls around each year, I am dismayed at the thoughtlessness of Americans. Everyone is running to a 'three-day-holiday' with no concern for the meaning. While I was doing my weekly shopping on Friday, I was asked several times if I had 'big plans' for the holiday. My response really caused people to give me the 'crazy old lady' look - "yes, we will watch the ceremony from Arlington and then we will reflect on all that our military has given to us." God Bless those who have given all for us.


Poem is ©Copyright 1970-2005 by Charles Michael Province

Note: "It Is The Soldier", which has, for several years. been attributed to Father Denis Edward OBrien, USMC. Mr Province has advised that Father O'Brien once sent a copy of the poem to "Dear Abby" and it was printed erroneously giving credit to Father O'Brien for writing it. It is at that point that the authorship became clouded, and I reproduce this information in the hope of ensuring Mr Province receives full, appropriate and most deserved credit for his wonderful piece.

Charles M. Province, a veteran of the US Army, is the sole and single Founder and President of The George S. Patton, Jr. Historical Society. He is the author of "The Unknown Patton", "Patton's Third Army", and "Patton's One-Minute Messages" More details are displayed on his website, particularly at where this poem is displayed.

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