This series is dedicated to those who have served and are departed.  As appropriate, change to feminine gender.  These requiems are appropriate for memorial services.  Some have chosen to insert the name of the individual being honored in the title as a more personalized version of the requiem during the service. 

 
Crossing Over The River

I stood tall and I served.
I served in the Army.
I served in the Navy.
I served in the Air Force.

I followed the flag.
I fought the battles.
I suffered the hardships.
I bled from the wounds.

My time has arrived,
My last sunset is behind me.
I cross over the river.
I depart with dignity and honor.

 
Arlington National Cemetary
Arlington National Cemetary

Veteran's Day Requiem

I cannot speak to you,
You are gone a long time.
You don't know what is now,
Your world ended years ago.

You fought in the war
A very long time ago.
Your love was waiting for you.
Your children were young then.

You now have grandchildren,
They  are going to school.
Your young wife remarried,
And the world is much changed.

They all still remember you.
You were young and strong.
You were brave and true.
You were a hero in a far off war.

You missed a lifetime of living.
You missed the hurts and the joys.
You would be much older now,
Telling war stories to young men.


 

Forward Air Controller's Memorial Monument, Colorado Springs, Colorado  DOUBLE CLICK to ENLARGE
Forward Air Controller's Memorial Monument, Colorado Springs, Colorado DOUBLE CLICK to ENLARGE

Forward Air Controller's Requiem

Bow your head and reflect
On the men we are here to honor,
The men who served their country.
The men who gave the ultimate.

They were all Forward Air Controllers,
The loneliest job in the world.
They faced their enemy alone.
Their courage came from within.

When everyone was calling "Help!",
They were the ones to help.
The emergency number in the sky,
The guardian angel to many of us.

Say the name of a fallen hero.
Say the name of a lover or husband.
Say the name of a son grown brave.
Say the name of a Dad no longer here.

They are now a long time gone.
We honor them for their courage.
We honor them as fallen warriors,
Who gave their lives, so others would live.


* * * * * * *

This poem is mounted in bronze at the Forward Air Controller's Monument in Colorado Springs, Colorado in memory of fallen hero's whose flame burns bright eternally.

 

Forward Air Controller's Memorial Monument, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Forward Air Controller's Memorial Monument, Colorado Springs, Colorado

After The Ceremony
(Forward Air Controllers Monument
Colorado Springs, Colorado
October 3, 2008 Dedication)

I spoke the words for all to hear
Of the heroes I served with in the war,
The Forward Air Controllers, all so brave,
The Covey Riders, equally courageous. 

I rubbed a name on to parchment.
Edward Carr was my neighbor in '62,
He mentored me and was very kind
To my new bride of a few weeks.

I rubbed another name on to parchment.
William Sanders who was my front seater.
He taught me to fly and to land the airplane.
He taught me to be professional in a cockpit.

I rubbed another name on to parchment.
David Carr was one of my replacements.
He flew his first orientation mission,
And we have never heard from him again.

It is here at this dedication ceremony
Where we gathered to honor our fallen comrades,
That I finally realized what was special
About Special Forces, it  was the FAC above.

   

Helicopter Pilot
Helicopter Pilot
 
 
Helicopter Pilot Requiem

Whoop!  Whoop!  Whoop!  Whoop!
 The sound of a chopper,
Lift ships, gunships,
Or med-evac helicopters.

The men who flew choppers
Loved the noise of lift.
Vertical flight was theirs,
No one else could do it.

In the attack or in support,
These men were fearless warriors,
Riding to the rescue -
Beloved by those below.

Our chopper pilot is gone.
Vertically lifted on high,
To join his brothers in the sky.
Those who have gone before.

Bow your head and reflect on,
When he was young and daring,
When he was brave and steady,
When he performed with valor.

Say farewell to a helicopter pilot.
Say farewell to a son grown brave.
Say farewell to a lover and husband.
Say farewell to a Dad no longer here.

 
 
 
Colonel Robert Howard,     Medal of Honor
Colonel Robert Howard, Medal of Honor

 

Green Beret Requiem

His strenght was his knowledge.
His skills were multiple and substaining.
His ability was to train and to lead,
For he knew war and could bring peace.

This is his last and final roll call,
A warrior in an elite fraternity.
His name is called and the answer:
"He is  gone, he has departed us."

All bow their heads and remember:
When he was youthful and courageous,
When he went where others feared to go,
When he marched with the "Green Berets".

He is the legend of the Special Forces.
He is the soldier who would volunteer.
He is the warrior in each girl's heart.
He is the hero his nation does honor.

 Farewell my friend, my comrade-in-arms.
Farewell the lover and husband who was true.
Farewell the father and granddad too.
Farewell the legend, farewell the hero.

 

Chesty Fuller
Chesty Fuller

 

"Semper Fidelis" Requiem

He wore dress blues proudly.
He was one of a select few.
He marched with "The Corps".
A Marine who served his nation.

He was part of an elite corps:
The "shock troops" first boots in.
He succeeded - no other option.
His link was with the brotherhood.

His is the history of valor.
Hear the names from the pages:
Tripoli, Iwo Jima and Chosin,
Courage and bravery ring loud.

We all admired our Marine.
He was young and strong.
He was true and faithful.
He is gone now, resting eternal.

Say his name loud one last time:
Remember the man who served,
Once a Marine, forever a Marine:
Always faithful, "Semper Fi".


 

 

 
 
Missing-in-Action Requiem

They were missing-in-action.
Their bodies were not recovered.
Their stories are not known.
Their deeds went unrecorded.

They went off on a war mission.
They were tasked to do reconnaissance.
They were tasked to bomb the enemy.
They patrolled in submarines.

No reports, no stories: missing-in-action.
Had they lived, they would speak:
"We fought the devils with our knives.
We killed them until they killed us."

"I aimed my bombs and they hit,
My plane exploded, hit by a missile."
" We sank three enemy ships and were escaping,
They depth-charged us, we are at the bottom."

Play the Pipes, and beat the drum slowly.
Dip the flag in honor of a fallen hero.
Let a tear run down your face in homage.
Salute a brave warrior, Missing-In-Action.

 

 

Requiem For A Citizen Soldier

You see the faces of heroes,
They flash on the TV screen,
Being added to the Honor Roll:
The dead we have sacrificed.

These are our brothers and sisters.
These are our daughters and sons.
These are fathers and husbands.
These are wives and mothers.

We will miss each of them.
They were Reserve and Guard members.
They were called upon to serve.
They have paid the ultimate price.

Each was a true patroit.
Each volunteered to serve.
Each served with distinction.
Each is a hero to all of us.

Say their names loud, one last time!
Render you one final salute.
 Salute valor, salute the hero.
Say goodbye to a loved one.

 

 

 

Soldier's Requiem

He marched to the drumbeat,
In step with his Company,
A proud member of the Army,
A soldier defending his nation.

When he was called upon,
He stood in harm's way.
His was the shield of freedom.
His was the sword of democracy.

"Into the attack, take the hill!
Maneuver your way forward, keep pushing!
Take out the machine gun, kill them!
You must move forward and destroy all!"

The battle streamers of this nation,
 Were earned by this soldier.
He represents all our heroes,
As his sacrifice, is the ultimate.

Say his name loud one last time!
Say goodby to the man we called friend.
Say goodbye to the lover and husband.
Say goodbye to the father and son.

 

 

 

Seaman in Whites
Seaman in Whites

 

Sailor's Requiem

In whites and dress blues,
 He was a true sailorman.
He sailed upon the seven seas-
To many lands and many ports.

His was the battle station,
That extended this nation's might.
Should an enemy ever strike,
His was the sword of democracy.

He could surprise an enemy.
He could strike an enemy from above,
Or his mighty guns could destroy a foe.
A global sailor controlled the sea lanes.

This sailorman served his country.
His was the shield of our freedom.
His was the sacrifice in wartime.
His is the glory of this nation.

Farewell my friend, my comrade-in-arms.
Farewell the lover and husband who was true.
Farewell the father and granddad too.
Farewell the legend, and farewell the hero.

 

 

'Taps'
"Taps"

 

Airman's Requiem

He wore his airman's uniform,
 And he was proud of his service.
He flew the skies protecting freedom.
He struck from above when ordered.

His was the ultimate calling:
He flew the fighter planes,
He flew the bomber planes, 
And he flew the chopper ships.

He extended this nation's reach.
No one was safe from an airstrike.
He led the attack forces from above,
Destroying all that stood in the way of victory.  

Always, he was prepared.
Always, he was on ready call.
His strength was this nation's.
His courage was from within.

Say his name loud, one last time!
Say goodbye to a man we called friend.
Say goodbye to the lover and husband.
Say goodbye to the father and son
.


 

 

Coast Guard Requiem
(Semper Paratus - Always Prepared)


The sea is where they served.
Their job was to save others.
In storm, wind, and cold,
They would risk all, for others.

"Into the storm, into the waves.
Men will die if we do not rescue them.
Their ship is floundering and doomed.
They cannot survive in these sea's."

 It was an every day job,
 To brave the sea and rescue others.
Yes, they saved many lives.
Now, we have lost one of ours. 

A member of the Coast Guard
Has passed from this world -
To the next, to join his shipmates:
Those who served, and did not return.

Offer you one final salute!
Say "goodbye" to a son grown brave.
Say "goodbye" to a husband and lover.
Say "goodbye" to a Dad no longer here.
 

 

Old Soldier's Requiem

The old soldier has departed.
He has fought his last battle.
He is gone, resting eternal.
His was the history of our nation.

He was young and strong once.
He wore his uniform with pride,
 And when he was called upon,
He stood bravely in harm's way.

The old soldier's ribbons talk:
 They say he fought many campaigns,
 They say his bravery was honored, 
They say his nation was grateful.

Say his name loud one last time!
The name of a hero, from wars past.  
He has joined his comrades
From battles fought long ago.


Offer you one final salute!
Say goodbye to the man we called friend.
Say goodbye to the lover and husband.
Say goodbye to the father and granddad.


 

 

 

Seafarer's Requiem

From the time before history,
The lure of the sea enticed many,
To seek the distant horizon,
To journey to far off lands.

They go off into the sea, 
They go off into the ocean,
 And some sail on the lakes.
Others, they navigate the rivers.

But some who journey far off-
Meet with danger and storm.
Some journey on a last voyage.
Some sink to the bottom of the sea.

And those who reside on the bottom,
Are the skeletons of the deep blue.
They are gone, never to return:
Lost at sea - buried at sea.

Say goodbye to a mate.
 Say goodbye to a loved one.
Say goodbye to a seafarer,
Resting eternal at the bottom of the sea
.

 

 
Requiem for a Boatcrew

The roll call is long and sober.
A boat crews last known position.
The time of their last report.
They are missing in the ocean deep.

A submariner is unique in the service.
He is a member of a boat crew.
They fight together, they die together.
We now mourn them without caskets.

They roamed the ocean far and wide.
Their realm was below the waves.
They fought and died serving their nation.
Each and everyone of them is a hero.

Our dolphin sailor is resting eternal.
He resides in the deep with his boatcrew.
He is commanded by his Captain.
The last order was: "Be brave dolphin."

Salute the man we called boatmate!
Salute the son grown brave!
Salute the husband and lover!
Salute the Dad no longer here!.

 

 

Band of Brothers Requiem

They were thrust into conflict,
Ordered to perform their duty:
Kill or be killed, no other choice.
They were a band of brothers.


They fought with the enemy.
They all knew the fear of battle.
They watched friends torn asunder.
They died in each others arms.

The combat veterans of this nation,
They share this "band of brothers" bond.
They each relied upon the other.
 They each survived conflict and war.

And, with this experience of battle,
They bonded, and acknowledged this bond,
For they have served, and been tested.
They have stood with men of courage.

Our brother is now gone, resting eternal.
 Offer you one final salute.
Salute courage, salute valor,
 Salute the man we called brother.

 

 

Paratrooper jumping from aircraft
Paratrooper jumping from aircraft

 

Paratrooper's Requiem

He wore his uniform with pride.
He stood tall in his jump boots,
Silver wings upon his chest,
He was one of America's best.

 His is the legacy of courage.
His is the history of valor.
His is the glory of our nation.
He was tough, and always ready.

He would jump, hit hard, unsnap his chute,
And ready his gun, for the enemy was all around.
He would rally and attack his foe.
He would kill, capture or vanquish all.

Our paratrooper is now gone.
 He has joined his band of brothers:
Those who stood in harm's way -
Who fought and died for freedom.

Say his name loud one last time!
Salute the man we called friend.
Salute the trooper we relied upon,
 Salute valor, "Airborne, all the way
".


 

 

 

Air Commando Requiem

Our squadron mate has passed-
Into the "wild blue yonder",
Where all airmen dream of going,
From when they first see the sky.

He will not return from this mission,
It is his final flight into eternity.
But he will be remembered by us, 
His fellow warriors in the sky.

All bow their heads and remember:
When he was youthful and courageous,
When he went where others feared to go,
When he flew with the "Commandos".

He is the legend of the Commandos.
He is the airman who would volunteer.
He is the warrior in each girl's heart.
He is the hero his nation does honor.

Farewell my friend, my comrade-in-arms.
Farewell the lover and husband who was true. 
Farewell the father and granddad too.
Farewell the legend, and farewell the hero.

 

 

Ranger Tab
Ranger Tab

 

Ranger's Requiem

 He wore the black and gold tab.
He was a U.S. Army Ranger.
His was the job to lead the way.
He volunteered to be first.

"Hit the beach, scale the cliff.
Disreguard enemy fire, take the gun,
For you are tasked to do the deed.
Others rely on you to never fail."

He never failed his comrades.
He always fought the hard fight.
Courage and valor were his calling. 
He would dare, and he would win.

This Ranger lead from the front.
The battle streamers of this nation,
 Were earned by this elite soldier.
Gallantry in action, was his job.

Say his name loud one last time!
Salute the warrior, salute the hero.
Say goodbye to a friend and a comrade.
Say goodbye to a husband and a father.


 

 

Navy Seal insignia, an elite hard earned emblem
Navy Seal insignia, an elite hard earned emblem

 

 Requiem for a Navy SEAL

He was the toughest of the tough.
He was the bravest of the brave.
He was the sword of democracy,
Tried and true, a Navy SEAL.

"Breach the beach defensive barrier.
Destroy enemy mines and obstacles.
Locate and destroy the heavy guns,
Use offshore fire and your demolitions."

He is gone, no longer among us.
He departs on his last journey,
 To join his boatcrew in the hereafter,
Where warriors reside with respect.

 He has served his country with pride.
He has served his friends and family.
He has been the man we relied upon.
His is the valor this nation honors.

Say his name loud one last time!
Say goodbye to our friend and comrade.
Say goodbye to  a son and brother.
Say goodbye to a husband and father.

 

 


 

 
 
Dolphin Sailor Requiem

He wore clean starched whites,
On his chest was the dolphin pin,
The mark of an elite submariner
Who fought in the ocean deep.

He served his nation below the sea,
Silently sailing where others feared to go.
Always ready, always alert, always brave,
The submarine he served on, always feared.

"Ready!  Enemy ship  off the beam,
Three thousand meters, surface.
Prepare to fire!   Fire a salvo!
Dive! Dive! Dive!  Everyone, quiet!"

He has crossed over the wide river
To join his boatcrew in the hereafter.
His service was of the cool professional.
His courage was tested, he stood tall.

Say goodbye to a boatcrew member.
Say goodbye to a husband and lover.
Say goodbye to a Dad no longer here.
Salute the dolphin sailor who served his nation.

 
Delta Force insignia
Delta Force insignia

 

Delta Force Requiem

"The briefing is classified: Top Secret.
Tasking comes from the highest authority.
Chances of success are questionable.
You must plan, rehearse and succeed!"
 
He was a quiet professional,
A member of an elite unit,
Where only the best of the best,
 Were called upon to serve.

He stood prepared and ready,
A volunteer to get the job done.
Whatever they needed done -
He was the man they called upon.

You didn't read stories about him.
You didn't even know what he did.
But he stood tall among his peers.
He carried his courage lightly.

He is gone, resting eternal.
Offer you one final salute.
Salute courage, salute valor,
Salute the warrior we served with.

 


 

Pipe Findlater at Waterloo, surrounded by dead and dying
Pipe Findlater at Waterloo, surrounded by dead and dying
Requiem For A Pipe Sergeant
(Memorial: Pipe Jimmy Findlater)

Listen!  Hear the warrior cry of the pipes.
Be fearful, you are about to meet terror.
The pipes play, you listen, fear is your due,
A piper in kilt leads a regiment into battle.

The men are brave, the pipes inspire them.
Soon they will show their killing bayonets.
It is the blade you'll get, no bullet for you,
These soldiers are led by a Pipe Sergeant.

Hear the terror, listen to the grim reaper wail.
The sword of death is about to fall upon you.
Their foe's feared the pipes, for behind the pipes,
Came the Scots who killed all they ever faced.

"Rest ye Pipey." you died an old man,
Honored by friend and foe as bravest of all,
For you led the regiment into the blaze of battle,
With pipes and a dirk to evoke courage in all.

Bow your head and reflect on our Pipe Sergeant,
Remember his deeds, his triumphs, his glory.
Listen to the pipes, listen to our lament.
Let a tear roll down your cheek in homage.


 
Dallas Nihsen, KIA
Dallas Nihsen, KIA
Requiem for a Door-Gunner
(Air Medal-Valorous)

A bullet tore through his chest
And came out of his back.
He never knew what hit him.
He died in in a few minutes.

He was a door gunner,
Flying hazardous missions.
He blasted the enemy,
They blasted right back at him.

We called him Dallas.
He was big and jovial.
He didn't look like a hero,
But a true hero he died.

He was on orders to depart.
His tour in Viet Nam was near done.
He volunteered for this last mission,
A dangerous  rescue to save others

Say the name of a son grown brave.
Say the name of an honored hero.
Say his name loud one last time:
Dallas Nihsen, inscribed forever.


 
Nurse in uniform
Nurse in uniform

Nurse's Requiem

She wore her whites with pride.
She was the nurse caring for others.
Her choice was a giving profession.
She gave hope and care as needed.

Her smile would brighten the day for all.
Her laughter brought a smile to our faces.
Her encouragement was what we needed.
Her giving of herself was a daily occurrence.

She served in the hospitals.
 She served with the field units.
She served on the air ambulances,
Always ready, to provide comfort and aid.

In the night, she was the savior.
During the day, she was the healer.
Always there, always giving of herself.
She indeed was an "angel of mercy".

She is gone now, resting eternal.
Render you one final salute!
Salute valor, salute the giver, 
Salute the nurse; say goodbye to her
.


 

 

Combat Medic's Requiem

 They carried a midical kit.
They braved the enemy fire.
They risked their own lives,
Thus, they could save others.

In the thick of combat-
You always heard the call:
"Corpman" or "Medic".
It was a call for help.

Combat Medics are heroes.
They are the bravest of the brave.
When others seek shelter,
 They seek to help the wounded.

 Our combat medic is gone.
He has joined the fallen.
He will be welcomed up their,
For he is a hero come home.

Render you one final salute.
Salute valor, salute the hero,
Salute the man we relied upon.
Say each of you, your goodbye.

 

 
 
Physicians Requiem

A lifetime dedicated to helping,
The Doctor is a giving profession.
A sick or tramatized patient
Relies on his Doctor for help.

With knowledge, medicine and skill,
Our Doctor treated each patient.
He provided relief from pain and distress.
He helped us recover from illness.

"Prepare the patient for immediate surgery!
His chances are slim, but we'll try."
The operation takes over two hours.
"He'll live, but it was a close call."

Our Doctor has crossed over the river.
We remember him for his compassion.
We remember him for curing our ills.
We remember him for always being there.

Say goodbye to a husband and lover.
Say goodbye to a father and grandfather.
Say goodbye to a fellow physician.
Say goodbye to a Doctor who served mankind.


 
 

Requiem For A Fallen Hero

He fought the battles from history:
Bunker Hill, Valley Forge, and Yorktown.
When Pearl Harbor was attacked,
He defeated our foes in a global war.

He fought for the United Nations.
The battles took place in Korea.
And in Viet Nam, he fought in the jungle,
Until it was time to pull out of there.

He fought to free Afganistan,
And was the liberator of Iraq.
The battle streamers of this nation,
 Invoke the courage of our military.

His was the sword of democracy.
His was the shield of freedom.
His was the sacrifice in wartime.
 His was the glory of this nation.

He is gone, he who served his nation.
His deeds are the history of liberty.
Salute his bravery, salute the warrior,
Salute the fallen hero in his passing.

 

The Legions Requiem

Say his name loud one last time.
He is no longer among the Legion.
 He is gone, to join his fallen comrades,
Those who died on the fields of battle.

The names ring out from history
Of where they fought their battles:
Iwo Jima, Normandy, and Chosen,
Viet Nam, Somalia, and Iraq.

Hail the hero, hail the warrior!
Hail the lover and husband true!
Hail the father and granddad too!
Hail the hero of this our nation!

Offer you one final salute.
Salute the man we called friend.
Salute the comrade we relied upon.
Salute valor, let the Legion mourn.


 

Soldier's Odyssey

Not too many years ago,
Off to war I did go,
 To do my glory deeds,
Perhaps to meet my fate.

It was all new to me:
I knew not yet my strength,
I had yet to brave my fear, 
To meet my foe and not turn.

It all seemed so easy;
To talk on the radio,
To charge an ambush, 
To kill another man.

That was the beginning;
Before my comrades fell,
While I still believed,
It would never be me.

I perceived the truth slowly,
That I too could be killed.
That all the others thought
They would not find their end.

I fought on even then, 
Thinking it was my fate,
Watching the others die -
Awaiting my last moment.

The war has now ended.
And I who fought so long,
I look back at the past:
Finally I understand.

School Teacher
School Teacher
Requiem For A School Teacher

Each child is a challenge,
Each wanting to learn more,
Each wanting the gift of knowledge,
Each wanting a future with promise.

The life of a teacher is full;
Full of opportuities to help,
 Full of moments of giving,
Full of joy when  learning florishes.

The brain is a work in progress.
It takes a teacher to direct it's learning.
It takes a teacher to dispell ignorance.
It takes a teacher to impart knowledge.

The ladder of life's opportunities
Is climbed one rung at a time,
Reading, writing and arithmatic,
These are taught by a teacher.

Our teacher is now departed.
Her last sunset is behind her.
She is now a memory to all of us:
Family, friends and so many students.

Say goodbye to a mother and wife.
Say goodbye to a grandmother too.
Say goodbye to a champion of learning.
Say goodbye to a teacher.

   
 
Fireman's boots and helmet
Fireman's boots and helmet

Firefighter's Requiem

Into the breach, into the fire,
The fireman charges deep within.
He seeks those who are trapped;
A child, an elder, a victim.

To the rescue without regard,
Smoke and fire raging around.
The walls are soon to collaspe,
Death is a threat ever present.

Call his name one last time!
He is gone, not to return.
Know ye all, he did his job.
He is a hero inscribed forever.

Bow your head and reflect:
On when he was young and strong,
On when he was brave and true,
On when he risked all, to save others.

Say goodbye to a firefighter.
 Say goodbye to a son grown brave.
Say goodbye to a lover and husband.
Say goodbye to a Dad no longer here.

   

Richard Charette - Pipe Major Fremont Police  Department (California)
Richard Charette - Pipe Major Fremont Police Department (California)

Police Officer's Requiem

Play the pipes, and beat the drum slowly.
This is our last march with our brother officer.
Dip the flag in honor of the fallen hero.
Let a tear drop run down your face in homage.

Each day he served in harm's way.
He was always ready, always alert.
We relied upon his judgement.
He has fallen in the line of duty.

He faced danger every day.
His courage was ever present.
His valor is tribute to all of us.
We honor the hero for his sacrifice.

Bow your head and reflect;
On when he was young and strong,
On when he was brave and true,
 On when he risked all for duty.

Say goodbye to a police officer.
Say goodbye to a son grown brave.
Say goodbye to a lover and husband.
Say goodbye to a Dad, no longer here.

Wilfred Owen - Eminent World War 1 English Poet
Wilfred Owen - Eminent World War 1 English Poet
Requiem For A Poet

He scribbled words on paper.
He discribed life's flow and emotions.
He addressed events with study and passion.
His words evoked poignancy and tears.

A poet writes for others and self.
His words stand for generations.
His words inspire though and action.
His words are his legacy to readers.

His poems evoked laughter and love.
His poems speak stories of heroes.
His labors over words has ended.
This poet has written his last word.

He has crossed over the river,
But, he has left behind a legacy:
Thought, learning, laughter and tears.
Poetry is eternal, his poetry lives on.

Say goodbye to a son who scribbled.
Say goodbye to a lover and husband.
Say goodbye to a Dad and Grand Dad.
Say goodbye to a poet inscribed forever.

Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.
 
 
Vietnam War Rememberance

The war lasted fourteen years.
More than three million served.
More than fifty thousand gave their lives,
Killed in Action, serving their nation.

They were all true Americans.
They all did their duty as ordered.
They served the cause of freedom.
They served in a far off war.

There was unrest on the homefront.
The politicians even decented,
Yet the military did its duty
Until the order was given: "Withdraw!"

We still argue the merits of that war.
It is time to forget the differences.
It is time to honor the men and women
Who fought gallantly and sacrificed so much.

 
 

 
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Requiem For Daniel Inouye
(1924 - 2012 "Aloha")
Medal of Honor

The man we all learned to trust.
The man Hawaii held true.
The man this nation honored.
The man we will all mourn.

He was honored as a soldier,
The holder of the Medal of Honor.
His courage was an inspiration
To all who have served this nation.

As a Congressman and Senator,
Daniel Inouye served Hawaii
As its representative to the nation
For fifty-three years of his life.

Daniel Inouye has departed.
It is his deeds and courage
That we honor and celebrate.
It is his humanity we evoke.

He was Hawaii's greatest statesman.
Say "Goodbye" to the man of the ages.
Say "Goodbye" to a hero who inspired.
Say "Goodbye" to a humanitarian above all else.

Raise the flag to the pole top.
Slowly lower it to half-mast.
Play taps to mark his departure.
Let a tear drop fall in homage.

 
 
 
 
 
           The Transition
 (Patricia Robles Hermansky)
           1920 - 2013
 
 
My brother answered the telephone:
"Mom can no longer speak or swallow."
My sister was there also, watching TV.
They were there keeping Mom company.
 
 
My brother handed the telephone to Mom.
"I love you so much and I miss you.
You are the best Mom and we know it."
My Mom waved her hand as a Goodbye.
 
 
At dusk, John was cleaning up in the garden.
He had a sense of spirit and went inside.
My Mom lay still in her bed, no longer breathing.
It was eight-0-five in the evening.
 
 
She crossed over as the sun set, so like her.
She had lived through so much: an economic depression,
The World War, marriage to a returning sailor,
A home, three children and their education.
 
 
Saint Peter stood at the gate awaiting her.
The trumpets played!  She was transformed
To her youthful beauty and all of her glory.
"You were saintly, you will fit right in here."
 
 
She walked into paradise on the golden road.
Around the bend was Maxime and Uncle Joe.
They kissed and hugged her, they cried.
Next on the path stood her husband and lover.
 
 
Fran took her up in his mighty arms,
Kissed her on her lips lovingly and rejoiced:
"You are as beautiful and as lovely as first
When I saw you and knew you would be mine."
 
    
 
       
 
 
A VOYAGE BEYOND TRILOGY  
   
 
             GERTRUDE DUFFY, A REQUIEM                                         (1930-2116)  
            In Tribute To A Woman With Love
 
“I just loved Gertrude for all of these years.
She in turn was a very loving person.”,
Thomas, her husband of fifty-six years reflected.
Their life together was giving each other the gift of love.
 
She was a wispy young girl born between two great wars
In a land that had been fought over for centuries.
She lived through disruption, terror, and the horrors
Of WWII, and ultimately, displacement from her home.
 
Her life changed as the world around her changed:
Her father taken, to be a slave laborer in the Nazi war machine,
Her family fleeing their homeland in fear of communism,
And displacement to Germany to be reunited with her father at last.
 
They crossed the Ocean to America, she still a young woman,
With another new language, home and opportunity to develop.
Detroit, the automobile hub, was prosperous and the family prospered.
Her strong intellect blossomed and she always wanted more.
 
She found more in the arms of a husband.
Thomas was her true love, a mate she held tight.
He in turn, never let her go, and still, will not,
For she nourished him in his achievements.
 
Gertrude and Tom did it all together with love.
They created their dream home and built successful careers.
Their children were foremost in their endeavor for excellence.
A grandson was a joy beyond expectations as they aged.
 
The road ahead is golden and her footfalls lead her to glory.
An old bearded man in robes is waiting for her at the gate.
She is transformed to a dazzling youthful beauty.
Saint Peter, waiting as the bells toll: “Now Gertrude, don’t lecture me yet!”


   


 
Scattering of Ashes at Sea


The San Diego Yacht Club is the venue,
Friends and family gathered together in tribute.
This will be the last boat ride for Gertrude,
Her ashes reside in a box to be scattered.

We board the "Ko Ko Mo" motor launch,
Marv and Michelle's fifty foot Angel boat.
It slowly motors out of San Diego Bay.
We motor past Point Loma one league.

Father Brian Kelly solemn in Navy Blue
Speaks from the book of departure and faith.
This is the last chapter of her mortal presence,
Gertrude will be embraced by her heavenly father.

Thomas bids farewell with a poem by Tennyson.
He offers her ashes to the choppy sea.
Rose petales float upon her ashes.
In turn, each guest bids "farwell" with a red rose.

Uplifting and solemn, the ceremony concludes.
Our eyes spill their tears in homage and grief.
"Hail the Angels!  Hail the Saints!"  Gertrude is rising.
God above will care for her in his garden.


Heaven's New Mate



Ship Ahoy!  Saint Peter at the gate,
A new mate is due in heaven's port.
She is a mate that all will sign on.
She will add to heaven's blessed crew.

Her resume is long and her deeds loving.
She had faith and hope and is stronger than most.
Give her a job, rely on her abilities!
Heaven will be a better place with Gertrude aboard.