Monday, May 31, 2010

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. Not sure the press believed I wrote it on the spot, but they were too lazy to do any research. I usually drag it out this time of year, so forgive me if you've seen it before.


  1. Mr. Hall,

    Really enjoy CSI. You are great. I just received your "I'm 63 and Im Tired" email from a friend. You are not alone. I appreciate you speaking out. I am older than you so I am much tirer of what is happening to this country.

    Again thanks, thanks and thanks. You are much appreciated.

  2. TartanMarine:
    You can NEVER speak such poignant words THAT often...and with such clarity.

    Carry On.
    And have a great Memorial Day.

  3. Per the above comment, I've never seen CSI, myself, though I understand the actor Robert D. Hall, whom someone confused with me on my "I'm Tired" piece as it went around the Net, is quite good. No idea how he feels being associated with my writing.

    With all the unread books, and the blog and a more than full time job, I have almost no time for TV, not even Fox News which people frequently accuse me of getting all my opinions from. And I haven't heard a broadcast by Rush in years. ~Bob

  4. Mr Hall,

    My e-mail friend just sent me your article, "I'm 63 & I'm Tired" & I couldn't have said it better myself! I'm not 63 yet, but right on your heels & I'm so frightened & disgusted with the daily "changes" taking place in our great country that it's hard for me to focus on my very tedious work as a real estate title abstractor who can't afford to ever make a mistake. I will be working (unless our government shuts me down or the real estate market continues to plunge) until I fall over dead at my desk!

    I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your thoughts & to wish you a "Happy Memorial Day" & to thank you for your service as a Marine.

    I'm a widow. My husband died 8 years ago from heat exhaustion (which caused cardiac arrest) in our driveway as I waited for him to come home from finishing construction on a new house. I kept waiting for him, but couldn't see his vehicle from any of the windows where he had parked. My neighbor's guest, who ws a nurse, pulled in the driveway next door & saw him lying behind his truck on our driveway. He & his lifelong best friend had taken over construction of the house for a bank because one of the previous partners had died just a few months before & the other partner couldn't finish it. Ironic, isn't it?

    My husband, who would've been 63 this May 5th, was a Marine who served on the front lines in Vietnam from 1967-68 for 12 months at first as a sniper, then a squad leader . He was supposed to be there for 13 months but his mother died in the 12th month & it took 3 days to get a chopper in to get him out to come home for the funeral. We were married for 33 years & have 2 sons.

    I've had a "partner" for 7 years who's my boyfriend & also became my business partner 6 years ago when the company he worked for fired him for breaking his ankle & having to be off for a couple of days despite having a doctor's excuse & a cast. The real reason was to get rid of everyone they could because they were outsourcing their work to another country.

    When he couldn't find another job that paid him enough for all his skills, he started helping me. He's quite a bit younger than I am, but since most people think I'm at least 15 years younger than I actually am, it works.

    He was in the Air Force & at Khobar Towers when it was bombed; so he knows first hand what terrorism is all about.

    He created a 'Memorial Day Tribute' video with a song ("Thats' American") from my son's band's ("Whiskey Brown") album. It's a tribute to honor our military & America. Who knows, this might be the last Memorial Day we get to celebrate & honor those who have given their service & some their lives for the freedoms that we are losing on a daily basis with this progressive administration. I hope you will watch it & everyone else who sees it & will pass it on to everybody they know. Everyone who has seen it, loves it. We need more patriots like you! Thank you & God bless you!
    Here's the link:

  5. I think your a great American and I'm proud of you, but I guess I'm bias as your brother.
    Can you post the story about the Cub Scout on Memorial Day that you wrote for " Chicken Soup for the Military Soul ".

    Thanks Bob

  6. Sure, Mark, here it is:

    The Cub Scout (from Chicken Soup for the Veteran’s Soul)