Thoughts for the memorial weekend

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It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle. – Norman Schwarzkopf

The dead soldier’s silence sings our national anthem. – Aaron Kilbourn

Do you know what a soldier is, young man? He’s the chap who makes it possible for civilized folk to despise war.” – Allan Massie

Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.” – Thomas Jefferson

Ain’t it funny how many hundreds of thousands of soldiers we can recruit with nerve. But we just can’t find one politician in a million with backbone. – Will Rogers

by Paul Gentry

Tears of Gratitude
An old cowboy
Was out working one day
His skin was wind worn
His hair shaded gray

He was mending some fence
Along an old country road
His hands hard as iron
His eyes sharp and bold

He saw a man walking
Down that dusty hot road
A slow walk he had
He didn’t look very old

The cowboy was curious
As the man walked by
Dusty and tired he looked
He had to ask why

Hey there young fellow
He called out friendly like
Are you headed for town
Or just out for a hike

The man turned and stared
His eyes sad and drawn
He said nothing at first
Then began to walk on

The cowboy stepped along
With the man on the road
I’m mighty good at listening
Maybe it would ease your load

The man looked over
He started to speak
His lips quivered a bit
A tear track on his cheek

He cleared his dry throat
Then began to talk
I guess I can tell you mister
Why I’m taking this walk

I’m headed to town
To meet the evening train
I’ve made this walk before
But this one’s a strain

My brother’s coming home
He’s on that train today
He’s had a long trip
He’s been far away

I’m picking him up
In a truck that I’ll borrow
We’ll both ride back home
But not till tomorrow

I’ll carry him back home
To our old family house
It’s a few miles away
Around the mountain down south

Our folks are at home
Waiting for us both
I told them I’d fetch him
I made them an oath

My brother’s coming home
For the last time you see
He’s been away at war
He’s a hero to me

He fought for his country
And for other folk’s rights
To live free with liberty
To bring freedom to light

He gave up his life
For what he believed in his heart
He was a man among men
Strong, courageous and smart

I’ll be taking him home
In a box made of oak
We’ll lay him to rest
Near our home of which I spoke

Under a tall old tree
That’s where he’ll lay
So this walk is a sad one
But I’ll make it this day

It’s with pride and honor
That I’ll meet that old train
But to know we can’t talk
That brings me great pain

We take for granted
All the freedoms we have
The men and the women
Who gave all they had

This country we live in
It’s yours, ours and mine
We should always remember
Our stars forever shine

I’ve got to go now
It’s getting kind of late
Got to meet that old train
It comes in at eight

He turned and started back
On that long, sad walk
The cowboy was silent
But he had a quick thought

Hold on there son
He called the man’s way
This fence ain’t so important
It can wait another day

Let me run get my truck
I’ll give you a ride
His chest got tight
It swelled with such pride

I was a soldier one time
Though long, long ago
There’s one thing about that
And it’s always been so

All soldiers are brothers
No matter the years
We understand honor
We’ve shared the same fears

They drove along in silence
Headed due west
To bring home a hero
To lay him to rest

Remember this story
When a soldier you see
Offer your thanks
For you and for me

They defend this great country
For all of our sakes
They deserve our respect
They have what it takes

Don’t take for granted
All the freedoms we share
They were won with many lives
Somewhere over there

The next time you hear
That a soldier gave their all
I hope from your cheek
Tears of gratitude gently fall

I hope you all enjoy the weekend. Think of those that gave their lives and those the felt the pain of their loss.

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