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Old men gather

To remember

When they were young

And stood so tall

Despite it all

Life but a song

To sing out loud

For they were proud

Of being called

To serve their land

To take a stand

To risk it all


They remember

These who gather

Those who paid it

And didn't come

With the rest home

The dust they bit

"Never forget"

We try, and yet

Never is long

Years roll on by

And tears do dry

As youth is gone


But still they gather 

And remember

The prisoners

And MIAs

Full fare they paid

On foreign dirt

So when they meet

To see and greet

Those who remain

They see it still

The bloody kill

Again, again


Stooped they carry

The memory

Haunt the nation

That would forget

And shun regret

To vacation

They won't let us

Escape from this

Bright dream that died

In rice paddies

Where these laddies

Fought, bled, and cried


They will gather

And remember

What they did for

God and country

'Neath canopy

Of jungle war

Now folks thank 'em

Try to shelve 'em

On dusty racks

Where none will see

This memory

Upon their backs


But that's okay

Folks are that way

These remember

Who lives, who's dead

What they all did

When they gather

To honor those

Who never rose

To come on home

But still stand tall

Despite it all

To those that know


Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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