Randy E. Richmond

MEMORIAL DAY, 2005

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: June 2, 2005
Awarded: June 2, 2005
The moments before they became heroes
Are the times we’d like to have back
To be able to scream “There’s two Zeroes!”
That they might have avoided attack

In those seconds just prior to dying
By the sniper hidden there on the hill
He might now hear someone trying
To bid him stay down and perfectly still

In the minute preceding the medal,
His posthumously won Silver Star
If we give Charlie less time to get settled
The grenade might not travel this far

Yet heroes they are and forever remain
In old hearts grown hardened as brass
Who still think of ways to stop the cold rain
Or see the mine hidden there in the grass

Now, once more we’ll raise hands in feeble salute
At all of the places you lay
With our thanks and a promise to remain resolute
Each and every last Monday in May

There’s still food and fun and grand old parades
But the crowds are now smaller it seems
We’ll see that your flag and our memories don’t fade
Of the birth of our scars and the death of your dreams