Elaine Ricketson Danks


Hush, hush… The word goes out across the land:
A fallen Hero comes this way!
Be still, O Seas! Be silent, Wind!
All creatures in a solemn vigil stand.

Their whispered cries swell and wing into space
past far-flung stars that gaze, forlorn;
while in somber clouds puffed with tears
an ashen sun sinks to bury its face.

Though monuments be raised and tributes paid,
such meager acts affront the deed
of him whose youth, and dreams… and Life
on Freedom’s altar were so early laid.

With humble reverence we meet the day,
his death to mourn, his life to bless.
Hearts beat the cadence of his name.
Take heed: A fallen Hero comes this way.

Author’s Note: This poem was read at the Memorial Service for my father at Arlington National Cemetery on August 30, 1999