I wrote this poem several years ago in response to the many soldiers and Marines I'd met who bravely carry on in memory of their fallen brothers-in-arms. As we approach Memorial Day, I thought it was a fitting tribute to those who have given their lives in war to the service of their fellow Americans and the world.
Although you can't see me or know I am here,
I have come to your graveside to shed a few tears,
For you'd want me to visit, come to this cemet'ry,
And tell you, my comrade, I miss you, you see.
I'm kneeling right now, thinking back to the days:
You were always looked up to in so many ways;
You always looked out for us, showed that you cared,
And you willingly taught us and constantly dared.
Honor was that by which you lived your life,
Whether home in the peacetime or out in the strife;
How we valued your input! Your presence was all
That anyone needed to answer the call.
It's hard to think, comrade, that now you are gone,
That your young life has ended like the setting sun.
I'm sorry - but here I must pause, just to grasp
That I'll nevermore see you or feel your handclasp.
No one thought that we'd lose you that terrible day
That you wouldn't be among us, forever to stay.
It's been hard to move on, though we know what you said:
That we shouldn't be sad just because you are dead.
Each one owes you our thanks, for you gave us a gift:
In sealing your fate, you allowed us to live;
But we love you and wish it had been us instead,
So you wouldn't be lying on this earthen bed.
Comrade, let me just tell you: you're still very near;
You remain in our hearts, for, to us, you were dear;
With my hand on your headstone, I kneel here to say:
We wish you could visit us just for today.
Though we're sad that we must say farewell for now,
Still you wear a green laurel upon your brow;
We thank you our hero for all that you gave
For the country and those that you wanted to save.
I must leave, my friend; I bid you to rest
With the thanks of your nation ever blest.
I miss you, my comrade, yet resolve to be true