To All the Veterans

They all went out, in service of their country. Some came home again. 

They came home, and went back to work quietly, but we remember what they were willing to do on our behalf. 

We remember, and are grateful for the men and women who marched until their feet bled, for our safety and comfort. For those who laid down their lives, that we may live. Greater love has no man… 

I’ve gone back to Kipling, a man who understood the soldier in a way few others ever have, and begging the poet’s shade pardon, have omitted the last line. 

“For All We Have And Are”

For all we have and are,
For all our children's fate,
Stand up and take the war.
The Hun is at the gate!
Our world has passed away,
In wantonness o'erthrown.
There is nothing left to-day
But steel and fire and stone!
        Though all we knew depart,
        The old Commandments stand: --
        "In courage keep your heart,
        In strength lift up your hand."

Once more we hear the word
That sickened earth of old: --
"No law except the Sword
Unsheathed and uncontrolled."
Once more it knits mankind,
Once more the nations go
To meet and break and bind
A crazed and driven foe.

Comfort, content, delight,
The ages' slow-bought gain,
They shrivelled in a night.
Only ourselves remain
To face the naked days
In silent fortitude,
Through perils and dismays
Renewed and re-renewed.
        Though all we made depart,
        The old Commandments stand: --
        "In patience keep your heart,
        In strength lift up your hand."

No easy hope or lies
Shall bring us to our goal,
But iron sacrifice
Of body, will, and soul.
There is but one task for all --
One life for each to give.
What stands if Freedom fall?


6 responses to “To All the Veterans”

  1. Nancy Guyotte Avatar
    Nancy Guyotte


  2. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Who dies if freedom live?

  4. Thank you for remembering us. It was 95% tolerable, but 5% horrid.

  5. Randy L Eveland Avatar
    Randy L Eveland

    You’ve brought me to tears once again. I’m one that came home to find a way to fit in a square hole while I am round. I fought not with gun nor knife but with mind and spirit. I knew those that gave their all. I knew those that lost a limb. Worst of all I knew those that lost their mind. No matter where, no matter when and no matter how we we’re brothers and sisters in arms. We are not forgotten but not remembered enough iuntil “It’s Tommy this, an Tommy that, an “Tommy go away “; But its “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play.”. Bless all of those that lie on foreign shores even if those shores are here. We truly are the land of the free because of the brave. So despite, or because, of the tears this 78 year old salutes you for remembering all veterans on all sides. PS. please keep turning out these wonderful books oh Wordsmith.