by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942-Sep 1945

I sat there in the gathering crowd,
their voices murmuring but not loud.
We gathered there to show respect,
'twas something that I would expect
from veterans from all our wars
who served in manners
that were ours to fill.

The platform stood above the crowd
with dignitaries looking proud 
in uniforms of their pride
they wore in stride
with emotions 
they could not hide but
held their heads aloft.

They spoke in words 
that carried fire,
they spoke of deeds
that did inspire
the common man to
carry forth the banner
that was freedom.

Marchers passed
in solemn step,
they wore our
veterans gear,
each man carried a memory
that he held close and dear.

They carried banners
of our troops each
held in staunch array,
each service held in respect
as is America’s way.
The bells were rung,
each name was called
to mark the fall
of heroes in the cause.

Let no man show disrespect
for those who stood the strife
of battles fought in snow or heat
in rain or mud or driving sleet
or desert sand in foreign lands
it was his fate to do.

He carried forth the banner
that stands for freedom:
"Hats off, the
flag is passing by!”
Amen. 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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I Sat Among the Honored