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©2012 Susan Noyes Anderson
In days gone by the town turned out,
dressed up in Sunday best,
to decorate the graves of men
who’d gone on to their rest.
They made us proud, our fighting men.
They blessed us, kept us free.
With flags and flowers, we embraced them
in sweet memory.
We honored them by closing Main Street
for the big parade.
We picnicked on their favorite foods
and drank sweet lemonade.
We sang Star Spangled Banner,
watched the boy scouts raise her high,
and pledged allegiance to this land
with nary a dry eye.
Hands over hearts and hats removed,
we heard the bugle blow
and bowed our heads for soldiers slain
that day and long ago.
At home, we flew the colors––stars
and stripes––red, white, and blue.
We reverenced every sacrifice,
made sure our kids did, too.
We took nothing for granted, not
our freedom, not our pain.
We lived the lives they fought for, swore
their death was not in vain.
We loved our country freely then
and weren’t afraid to pray.
We sought (and taught) good character,
sent scoundrels on their way.
Ideals were hopeful, not naïve,
and dreams were goals worth setting.
Integrity and virtue were esteemed.
Are we forgetting?
Our symbols and our ceremonies
tell us what we treasure.
The things we celebrate reveal
more truth than we can measure.
A nation that holds little dear
can find no solid ground.
Today I pray that some of what
we’ve lost may yet be found.
Remembering is everything.
Remember who we are:
one people, joined in liberty
by every stripe and star.