Thanks Duckie, JedsMom, and Heather,
It brings a tear to my eyes each time that I read it too. I have another poem written during World War Two about one of the companies in my old national guard battalion, 1-133d Infantry, 34th Infantry Division. I'll include it here as well because it is as timeless as the feelings that we get when loved one go into harms way to protect our freedoms and our way of life. May our military brothers and sisters, of all freedom loving nations, feel the love, respect, and enduring gratitude that we feel for them.
The Boys of Company A
Do you hear the sound along Main Street,
Like the measured tread of marching feet?
Seems that it still lingers in the air
Through the three years since 'twas really there,
For who can forget that sad dark day
When we waved farewell to Company A?
We will remember the bugle and drum,
The sibilant whisper, "Here they come."
As through tear-dimmed eyes we saw them turn
And march down Main with their young lips stern;
They were not men, they were just our boys,
It seemed their guns must just be toys.
For 'twas just yesterday that they played
And marched together in mock parade.
But why the sorrow and the fear?
They were to be gone but for one short year;
Ah, but a warning touched each heart that day
Of trouble ahead for Company A.
How many a foreign road and street
Have echoed sounds of their marching feet?
In Erin, Scotland and English Downs,
Oran, Tunis, and Italian towns,
Faid, Fondouk, and Hill 609
Through bursting shell and past hidden mine.
And now near the Abbey on the hill,
The few who are left are marching still.
Ah, folks back home can be proud to say,
"We know the brave boys of Company A";
Their ranks have thinned as the months have fled,
Wounded or missing their messages read.
Then there are those who lie so still,
"Neath Italy's sky or Tunisia's hill.
No screaming-meanie or bursting shell
Can break the peace they have earned so well;
White crosses mark where their bodies lie,
But such as these never really die.
And we like to think, in that bright land
Where their souls were called by the High Command,
They'll be standing guard until one by one,
Each of their buddies finds life is done;
And in last review on Judgement Day,
They'll all march again as Company A.
By Mrs. Jesse B. (Syrena) Kay, 1944