Memorial Day Poem
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Memorial Day Poem to Celebrate falling Patriotic Heroes

Memorial Day Poem to Celebrate falling Patriotic Heroes.

Memorial Day Poem – The beginning of summer, a time for picnics and barbecues and a holiday to gather around the family, has come to mean Memorial Day.

However, that happiness and freedom is a result of the true cause of the holiday: the sacrifice made by men and women who have fought and died for the rights and freedoms that are dear to Americans.

Memorial Day is a moment to note that the American way of life is not cheap, but rather the lives and blood of so many who have died for us have been bought us thus far.Memorial Day Poem

1. “For the Fallen”

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

by Laurence Binyon

2. “Grass”

Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work—
I am the grass; I cover all.

And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.

Two years, ten years,
and passengers ask the conductor:
What place is this?
Where are we now?
I am the grass.
Let me work.

by Carl Sandburg

3. Before the Deployment

all good-byes should whisper like a piece of silk—
and then the quick surprise of waking,
alone except for the citrus ghost of his cologne.

by Jehanne Dubrow

4. “In Flanders Fields”

In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead; short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe!
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high!
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

by John McCrae

5. Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field One Night

Vigil strange I kept on the field one night;
When you my son and my comrade dropt at my side that day,
One look I but gave which your dear eyes return’d with a look I shall never forget,
One touch of your hand to mine O boy, reach’d up as you lay on the ground,
Then onward I sped in the battle, the even-contested battle,
Till late in the night reliev’d to the place at last again I made my way,
Found you in death so cold dear comrade,
found your body son of responding kisses, (never again on earth responding,).

Bared your face in the starlight, curious the scene, cool blew the moderate night-wind,
Long there and then in vigil I stood, dimly around me the battle-field spreading,
Vigil wondrous and vigil sweet there in the fragrant silent night,
But not a tear fell, not even a long-drawn sigh, long, long I gazed,
Then on the earth partially reclining sat by your side leaning my chin in my hands,
Passing sweet hours, immortal and mystic hours with you dearest comrade—not a tear, not a word,
Vigil of silence, love and death, vigil for you my son and my soldier,

As onward silently stars aloft, eastward new ones upward stole,
Vigil final for you brave boy, (I could not save you, swift was your death,
I faithfully loved you and cared for you living,
I think we shall surely meet again,)
Till at latest lingering of the night, indeed just as the dawn appear’d,
My comrade I wrapt in his blanket, envelop’d well his form,
Folded the blanket well, tucking it carefully over head and carefully under feet,
And there and then and bathed by the rising sun, my son in his grave.

In his rude-dug grave I deposited,
Ending my vigil strange with that, vigil of night and battle-field dim,
Vigil for boy of responding kisses, (never again on earth responding,)
Vigil for comrade swiftly slain, vigil I never forget, how as day brighten’d,
I rose from the chill ground and folded my soldier well in his blanket,
And buried him where he fell.

by Walt WhitmanMemorial Day Poem

6. Dulce et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime…
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

by Wilfred Owen

7. Shiloh: A Requiem

Skimming lightly, wheeling still,
The swallows fly low
Over the field in clouded days,
The forest-field of Shiloh—
Over the field where April rain
Solaced the parched ones stretched in pain
through the pause of night
That followed the Sunday fight
Around the church of Shiloh.

The church so lone, the log-built one,
That echoed to many a parting groan
And natural prayer
Of dying foemen mingled there—
Foemen at morn, but friends at eve—
Fame or country least their care:
(What like a bullet can undeceive!)
But now they lie low,
While over them the swallows skim,
And all is hushed at Shiloh.

by Herman Melville

8. Peace

When will you ever, Peace, wild wooddove, shy wings shut,
Your round me roaming end, and under be my boughs?
When, when, Peace, will you, Peace? I’ll not play hypocrite
To own my heart: I yield you do come sometimes; but
That piecemeal peace is poor peace. What pure peace allows
Alarms of wars, the daunting wars, the death of it?

O surely, reaving Peace, my Lord should leave in lieu
Some good! And so he does leave Patience exquisite,
That plumes to Peace thereafter. And when Peace here does house
He comes with work to do, he does not come to coo,
He comes to brood and sit.

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

9. A Mother’s Tear

There’s more to the story,
than what just appears.
A war written story,
from blood and from tears.
My son went to war,
a very proud man.
He fought in Iraq,
on the hot desert sands.
He witnessed his buddies,
his comrades, his men,
bleeding and dying,
he witnessed their end.

Where is Pvt. Tommy?
He’s blown up all around,
his comrades spent hours,
picking him from the ground.
Sleeping in holes,
dug in the sand,
dreaming of home,
but it’s become foreign land.
He can’t tell his enemy,
from family or foe,
as he watches his friends sent out,
with tags on their toe.

by Amy PetersonMemorial Day Poem

10. We Honor You Today

To all of our veterans
Far and near.
We thank you for your service
For all those years.

You sacrificed your time,
And some gave your life.
You preserved our freedom
By willingly paying the price.

Many of you
Were sent overseas.
You were wounded in battle,
With scars and disease.

But courageous and brave,
You weathered the storm.
You faced every battle
With faith and beyond.

We honor you with joy
For all that you’ve done.
You stood strong for our country,
For our daughters and sons.

by Susan R. Smith

11. How Sleep the Brave

How sleep the brave, who sink to rest
By all their country’s wishes blest!
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallow’d mould,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod
Than Fancy’s feet have ever trod.

By fairy hands their knell is rung;
By forms unseen their dirge is sung;
There Honour comes, a pilgrim grey,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
And Freedom shall awhile repair
To dwell, a weeping hermit, there!

by William Collins

12. A Dead Warrior

Here sown to dust lies one that drave
The furrow through his heart;
Now, of the fields he died to save
His own dust forms a part.
Where went the tramp of martial feet,
The blare of trumpets loud,
Comes silence with her winding sheet,
And shadow with her shroud.

His mind no longer counsel takes,
No sword his hand need draw,
Across whose borders peace now makes
Inviolable law.
So, with distraction round him stilled,
Now let him be content!

And time from age to age shall build
His standing monument.
Not here, where strife, and greed, and lust
Grind up the bones of men;
But in that safe and secret dust
Which shall not rise again.

by Laurence Housman

Memorial Day Poem – I was thinking of those still on the battlefield as I remember all those who fell for friends, family, and country. They face hardships and hazards on this very day – simply by being on the road or out in the countryside.

My thoughts go to those who are riding out there in Afghanistan and Iraq. Of course, in the past, millions have laid down their lives, and while not forgetting those out there, we must remember them and that “keeping free” is an endless vigil.

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