Saturday, May 23, 2009


Memorial Day

The troubled world can offer no award
To you who sleep beneath the chiseled stone.
You died because we handed you the sword,
And we are free because you sleep alone.

The tides of history well may change the cause,
And time may blunt the sharpness of the debt,
For sacrifice, a nation under laws
Is gathered here today, lest we forget.

--Robert A. Hall

I composed this poem while marching in the Fitchburg, MA Memorial Day Parade in 1975, then used it in my speech at the upper common.


  1. "...lest we forget." More echoes of Kipling in both tone and feel. Beautiful, sir.

    I think the line that impacted me the most was the third line of the first stanza. We may have handed you the sword, but you had the courage to take it from our hands. And those who sleep alone had not only the courage, but the love to make the sacrifice.

    Again, and ever again, thank you for serving.