Another Memorial Day is upon us, a day for Americans across the nation to pay homage to those who gave the last full measure of devotion for our freedom.
We are indeed the Land of the Free because of the Brave.
Today, let us thank those who have served, pray for those still serving and their families, and thank God that we live in a nation that allows us liberty to worship and go about our daily lives in safety.
As written at Concerned Veterans for America:
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We Americans are blessed to live in the greatest country on earth, where we are able to enjoy freedoms that most can only dream of. But that freedom comes at a terribly high price—something we all need to be reminded of as Memorial Day approaches.
This holiday weekend, while you gather with family and friends at picnics, barbeques, and pool parties, please pause to reflect on the brave men and women who gave their lives protecting our country and be sure to thank their surviving family members, for they have sacrificed greatly as well.
Also, please take just over five minutes to watch this video titled “Just a Common Soldier,” and share this touching, powerful video with your contacts.
In it, Hollywood actor Tony Lo Bianco gives a stirring reading of a 1987 poem by Canadian veteran A. Lawrence Vaincourt that tells the story of the passing of a veteran named Bill and goes on to lament the outsized honor our country tends to bestow upon our “great” politicians while common soldiers like Bill die every day unsung.
This Memorial Day weekend, please do your part by sharing this video with your loved ones and let us never forget those who paid the ultimate price fighting for the United States of America.
The A. Lawrence Vaincourt poem in its entirety:
JUST A COMMON SOLDIER
(A Soldier Died Today)
He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion, telling stories of the past.
Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies; they were heroes, every one.
And tho’ sometimes, to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,
All his Legion buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.
But we’ll hear his tales no longer for old Bill has passed away,
And the world’s a little poorer, for a soldier died today.
He will not be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,
For he lived an ordinary and quite uneventful life.
Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way,
And the world won’t note his passing, though a soldier died today.
When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing and proclaim that they were great.
Papers tell their whole life stories, from the time that they were young,
But the passing of a soldier goes unnoticed and unsung.
Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land
A guy who breaks his promises and cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow who, in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his Country and offers up his life?
A politician’s stipend and the style in which he lives
Are sometimes disproportionate to the service that he gives.
While the ordinary soldier, who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal and perhaps, a pension small.
It’s so easy to forget them for it was so long ago,
That the old Bills of our Country went to battle, but we know
It was not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom that our Country now enjoys.
Should you find yourself in danger, with your enemies at hand,
Would you want a politician with his ever-shifting stand?
Or would you prefer a soldier, who has sworn to defend
His home, his kin and Country and would fight until the end?
He was just a common soldier and his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us we may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict, then we find the soldier’s part
Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.
If we cannot do him honor while he’s here to hear the praise,
Then at least let’s give him homage at the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline in a paper that would say,
Our Country is in mourning, for a soldier died today.
© 1987 A. Lawrence Vaincourt
I hope you will share this post with every contact, every family member, and pass on the tradition of rendering honor and gratitude to our warriors who protect us and our Constitution.
Always remember that freedom is not free: it has been, and is being, paid for at a very dear cost.
Be absolutely certain the next generations, though oft times far removed from the great wars of our time, understand that there are some things worth dying for. That there are real heroes who eagerly and willingly volunteer for duty.
I still hear the call, “For God and country.”
And I praise God, with a full heart, for those noble men and women who echo that cry.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.