Frank J. Montoya


They went forth to do battle, 16 million strong.
They fought… and they died for Liberty.
They have been called The Greatest Generation,
And they bear that title with pride and dignity.

They served courageously throughout the world,
In the air, at sea, and on foreign land.
From scores of sultry islands in the Southern Seas,
To Africa’s dusty, hot, unyielding sand.

Pearl Harbor, Iwo Jima, Saipan, Midway, Bataan:
Those names evoke such grief – such pain and sacrifice.
Normandy, Anzio, Lorraine, The Bulge, Bastogne.
Who knew they would command such a dreadful price?

Countless thousands were maimed and scarred;
More than 400,000 gave up their lives.
But we know, in our hearts, they died not in vain.
They saved our precious Freedom, which still survives.

And yet, for nearly sixty long and silent years,
Little tribute was paid to this gallant company.
No memorial, no monument, no hallowed place,
To commemorate their arduous, valiant victory.

Veterans of other wars had theirs built long ago,
And their deeds were rightfully placed in history.
But for Veterans of our most great and costly war,
There was nothing at all for the world to see.

Now thankfully, after all these fruitless years,
Their Memorial will be dedicated this Memorial Day.
They will have a shrine, at last, to call their own,
And their story will finally have its say.

Of the 16 million who were called to arms
Barely four million will see tomorrow’s dawn.
And as each evening falls and the bugle calls,
A thousand more of our heroes will be forever gone.

We must never forget the role they played,
In the forging of our Country’s destiny.
They preserved our cherished American way of life.
May their legacy endure throughout eternity.

Frank J. Montoya: The World War II Memorial
The National World War II Memorial: Washington DC