Let us all take some time as we unofficially begin Summer, to remember what today is really about those soldiers who have died, a major part of the day is decorating soldiers graves with flowers. This Poem from Joyce Kilmer, the poet and soldier, is from his second collection of poems Trees and Other Poems. It has been set to music and has been included in The Army and Navy Hymnal.
Memorial Day by Joyce Kilmer
The bugle echoes shrill and sweet,
But not of war it sings to-day.
The road is rhythmic with the feet
Of men-at-arms who come to pray.
The roses blossom white and red
On tombs where weary soldiers lie;
Flags wave above the honored dead
And martial music cleaves the sky.
Above their wreath-strewn graves we kneel,
They kept the faith and fought the fight.
Through flying lead and crimson steel
They plunged for Freedom and the Right.
May we, their grateful children, learn
Their strength, who lie beneath this sod,
Who went through fire and death to earn
At last the accolade of God.
In shining rank on rank arrayed
They march, the legions of the Lord;
He is their Captain unafraid,
The Prince of Peace . . . Who brought a sword.