I've begun to put more poems on separate pages.
Just click the titles!
To Those Who'd like to
Burn the Flag
The Night Before Christmas
for a Soldier
The American Flag God Save the Flag
The Star-Spangled Banner-Complete A Nation's Strength
Flag of the Free Freedom Isn't Free
Final Inspection Forgotten Fighter
Invisible Soldier In Flander's Field
A Forgotten Flag The Flag
Freedom America For Me
Lines for a Flag Raising Ceremony Spring in the Trenches

I Am Still The Same Old Flag

Hello, remember me? Some people call me Old Glory,
others call me Stars and Stripes;
I have been referred to as the Star Spangled Banner.
But whatever they call me,
I am your Flag, or as I proudly state
....the Flag of the United States of America.

There is something that has been bothering me,
so I thought I might talk it over with you....
because it's about you and me.
I remember some time ago, I think it was Memorial Day,
people were lined up on both sides of the street to watch the parade.
The town's high school band was behind me,
and naturally, I was leading the parade.
When your Daddy saw me coming along, waving in the breeze,
he immediately removed his hat and placed it against his left shoulder
so that his right hand was directly over his heart. Remember?
And you, Yes, I remember you.
Standing there straight as a soldier.
You didn't have a hat, but you were giving the correct salute.
They taught you in school to place your right hand over your heart.
Remember little sister? Not to be outdone,
she was saluting the same as you.
Oh, I was very proud as I came down your street.

There were some soldiers home on leave
and they were standing at attention giving their military salute.
Also, some V.F.W. veterans with their caps at jaunty angles were saluting smartly.
Ladies as well as men, paid me the reverence I deserve.
Now, I may sound a little conceited.
Well, I am. I have a right to be,
because I represent the finest country in the world....
the United States of America.
More than one aggressive nation has tried to haul me down,
but they all felt the fury of this freedom loving country.
Remember...many of you had to go overseas to defend me.

What has happened? I'm still the same old Flag.
Oh, I've had a couple more stars added since you were a boy.
A lot more blood has been shed since that Memorial Day parade long ago.
Dad is gone now, The home town has a new look.

The last time I came down your street,
I saw that some of the old landmarks were gone,
but in their place, shinning majestically in the sun,
were a number of new buildings and homes.
Yes sir, the old home town has changed.

But now....I don't feel as proud as I used to.
When I came down your street, you just stand there
with your hands in your pockets and give me a small glance,
then look or turn away.

When I think of all the places I've been...
Ansio, Guadalcanal, Battle of the Bulge, Korea, and Vietnam
I wonder what's happened? I'm still the same old Flag.

But now I see children running around and shouting as I pass by.
They don't seem to know who I am.
I saw an old man take his hat off, and then look around.
He didn't see anybody else with theirs off,
so he quickly put his back on.
Is it a sin to be an American anymore?

Have you forgotten what I stand for?
Have you forgotten all the battlefields where men fought
and died to keep this nation, your nation, free?
When you salute me, you are actually saluting them.

Take a look at the Memorial Honor Rolls sometime.
Look at the names of those who never came back,
and are resting 'neath white crosses on a far away shore.

Some of them were friends or relatives of yours,
maybe even went to school with you.
That's who you're saluting....when you revere me.
Well, it won't be long until I come down your street again.
So when you see me, stand straight,
place your hand over your heart,
and you'll see me waving back.
My salute to you, I'll show you that I too, remember!

...Author Unknown

They Don't Wear Purple Hearts In Heaven

I lost my brother to a foreign land;
I was too young to even understand
There was a knock at the front door,
then Momma wasn't smiling anymore.
The man at the door was a Marine;
the first I've ever seen.
Momma told me to go out and play,
then the preacher came
and they started to pray.

Tears ran down Momma's eyes,
and I heard her say, "Why, Lord, Why"?
Father stood there seemingly mindless,
all he said was, "We've lost another of
America's finest."

The Marine handed Momma a small velvet case,
inside was a Purple Ribbon, attached to a
gold heart with Washington's face.
I asked Momma if it were mine,
but she said, "It's your brother's, Sunshine."
"Momma can we send it to Kevin?"
She answered, "They don't wear Purple Hearts in Heaven."

...Author unknown

Hats Off!

Hats off!
Along the street there comes
A blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums,
A flash of color beneath the sky:
Hats off!
The flag is passing by!

Blue and crimson and white it shines,
Over the steel-tipped, ordered lines.
Hats off!
The colors before us fly;
But more than the flag is passing by.

Sea-fights and land-fights, grim and great,
Fought to make and to save the State:
Weary marches and sinking ships;
Cheers of victory on dying lips;

Days of plenty and years of peace;
March of a strong land's swift increase;
Equal justice, right, and law,
Stately honor and reverend awe;

Sign of a nation, great and strong
Toward her people from foreign wrong:
Pride and glory and honor,--all
Live in the colours to stand or fall.

Hats off!
Along the street there comes
A blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums;
And loyal hearts are beating high:
Hats off!
The Flag is passing by!

...Henry Holcomb Bennett

Ragged Old Flag

I walked through a county courthouse square,
On a park bench an old man was sitting there.
I said, "Your old courthouse is kinda run down."
He said, "Naw, it'll do for our little town."
I said, "Your flagpole has leaned a little bit,
And that's a Ragged Old Flag you got hanging on it.

He said, "Have a seat", and I sat down.
"Is this the first time you've been to our little town?"
I said, "I think it is." He said, "I don't like to brag,
But we're kinda proud of that Ragged Old Flag."

"You see, we got a little hole in that flag there
When Washington took it across the Delaware.
And it got powder-burned the night Francis Scott Key
Sat watching it writing Oh Say Can You See.
And it got a bad rip in New Orleans
With Packingham and Jackson tuggin' at its seams."

"And it almost fell at the Alamo
Beside the Texas flag, but she waved on through.
She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville
And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill.
There was Robert E. Lee, Beauregard, and Bragg,
And the south wind blew hard on that Ragged Old Flag."

"On Flanders Field in World War I
She got a big hole from a Bertha gun.
She turned blood red in World War II
She hung limp and low by the time it was through.
She was in Korea and Vietnam.
She went where she was sent by her Uncle Sam."

"She waved from our ships upon the briny foam,
And now they've about quit waving her back here at home.
In her own good land she's been abused --
She's been burned, dishonored, denied and refused."

"And the government for which she stands
Is scandalized throughout the land.
And she's getting threadbare and wearing thin,
But she's in good shape for the shape she's in.
'Cause she's been through the fire before
And I believe she can take a whole lot more."

"So we raise her up every morning,
Take her down every night.
We don't let her touch the ground
And we fold her up right.
On second thought I DO like to brag,
'Cause I'm mighty proud of that Ragged Old Flag."

...Johnny Cash

Just A Common Soldier

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 buddies listened,
for they knew whereof he spoke.

But we'll hear his tales no longer,
for old Bob has passed away
And the world's a little poorer,
for a soldier died today.

No he won't be mourned by many,
just his children and his wife,
For he lived an ordinary
very quiet sort of life,
He held a job and raised a family,
quietly going on his way;
And the world won't note his passing;
'tho 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 of their 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
Some jerk who breaks his promise
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?
The politician's stipend
and the style in which he lives
Are sometimes disproportionate
to the services 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 our Bob's and Jim's and Johnny's
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 really want some cop-out
with his ever waffling stand?
Or would you want 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 the paper that might say:

...A. Lawrence Vaincourt

A Soldier's Prayer

Look God: I have never spoken to You,
But now I want to say, "How do You do."
You see God, they told me You did not exist;
And, like a fool, I believed all of this.
Last night from a shell hole I saw Your sky;
I figured right then they had told me a lie.
Had I taken the time to see the things You made,
I would know they weren't calling a spade a spade.
I wonder, God, if You would shake my hand;
Somehow, I feel that You will understand.
Strange, I had to come to this hellish place
Before I had time to see Your face.
Well, I guess there isn't much more to say,
But I am sure glad, God, I met You today.
I guess the zero hour will soon be here,
But I am not afraid since I know You are near.
The signal - well, God, I will have to go;
I love you lots, this I want you to know.
Looks like this will be a horrible fight;
Who knows, I may come to your house tonight.
Though I wasn't friendly with you before,
I wonder, God, if you would wait at the door.
Look, I am crying, me shedding tears!
I wish I had known you these many years.
Well, I will have to go now, God.
Goodbye - Strange, since I met you,
I am not afraid to die.

...Author Unknown