Friday, May 24, 2013

They Died for All Mankind

One of my favorite poets is Edgar Guest, and, while doing some research for this Memorial Day post, I happened to come across the following poem which was written by Mr. Guest.

These Did Not Pass in Selfishness; They Died for All Mankind    
By Edgar A. Guest

These did not pass in selfishness; they died for all mankind;

They died to build a better world for all who stay behind;
And we who hold their memory dear, and bring them flowers today,
Should consecrate ourselves once more to live and die as they.

They were defenders of the faith and guardians of the truth;

That you and I might live and love, they gladly gave their youth;
And we who set this day apart to honor them who sleep,
Should pledge ourselves to hold the faith they gave their lives to keep.

If tears are all we shed for them, then they have died in vain;

If flowers are all we bring them now, forgotten they remain;
If by their courage we ourselves to courage are not led,
Then needlessly these graves have closed above our heroes dead.

To symbolize our love with flowers is not enough to do;

We must be brave as they were brave, and true as they were true.
They died to build a better world, and we who mourn today,
Should consecrate ourselves once more to live and die as they.

As we celebrate this long Memorial Day weekend with picnics, barbeques, and family gatherings, let us also reverently honor and pay our respects to those who gave their lives in service of their country, preserving and protecting the freedoms that we all enjoy today.  

Let us also remember with gratitude our servicemen and women who, at this very moment, are risking their lives to keep America out of harm's way.  May God protect them as they protect us, and bless them and their families for the sacrifices they make for us.

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