by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942-Sep 1945

Parris Island is a place
known to all and sundry,
from here they turn out
new Marines be it
Monday or a Sunday.

I stood with others on the deck
as they marched
in perfect step to positions
at attention on the field.
The band played a marching tune
with piccolo and big bassoon
and drums that would not be quiet.

Troops all marched in perfect time
and halted in a perfect line
across the parade deck,
they did fine
before the people
who were gathered there.

Colors were all unfurled,
our banners told
 the whole world
these men and women were Marines
and members of the greatest team
that ever set a foot 
on mother earth.

I stood with eyes that held a tear,
I saw them all standing there
and knew that once 
there I stood.
I envied them their rank and file
but inside I had to smile
in knowing that I was looking
at the best.

Their movements were 
all smart and sharp
from hand salute
to “Attention!”
They were so perfect
at their trade
I really had to mention.

So let’s be grateful,
one and all that
men and women like these
are standing tall
taking their place
in the ranks,
for this I give a
heartfelt “Thanks.” 
Semper Fi!

*     *     *
The author: Robert Lin Cook served with Reg. Weapons Co. (2d-2d) from 1942-44, at Guadalcanal and Tarawa during a 33-month overseas tour.

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Parris Island