By R.F. Dees and his grandson, Justin Pierce in honor of Memorial Day and veterans who have fought in wars and conflicts:
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 everyone.
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 John has passed away;
And the world’s a little poorer, for a soldier died today.
He’ll 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,
And thousands note their passing and proclaim that they were great.
Newspapers tell their life stories, from the time that they were young.
But, the passing of a simple Soldier goes unnoticed and unsung.
Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land,
A person who breaks 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 his life?
It’s so easy to forget them, for it was so long ago,
That the “old Johns” of our country went to battle, but we know,
It was not the politicians, with their promises and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom that our County now enjoys.
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 the troubles, that others often start.
If we cannot give 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 a simple notice, in the paper that would say,
“Our country is in mourning, case a Soldier died today.”