by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942-Sep 1945

I found our flag hangin’ on
a small town general store,
it was faded and ragged,
a thing we do deplore.

But when I saw the owner
sittin’ on that front porch,
I knew why it flew there
for he was a man of yore.

Beneath his rolled up shirt sleeve,
an arm of steel exposed
the Eagle, Globe and Anchor
that was a part of
his private world.

His head was bare,
bereft of hair except
for a grey expanse,
his grizzled face
bore the trace of
time's slow advance.

It was plain to see
as it could be
he was a man of steel
for below the knee
you could not see
what he had left behind.

That ragged flag
told more to me than
I could hope to know,
it was to him
a symbol of the
land that he loved so.

The land that he had
fought to save in
wars long gone 
to history pages.
No more will he
bear arms though he
is still courageous.

Among the men
who fought the wars that
was our undertaking,
let’s keep them in
our memories
while memorials
we’re making.

*     *     *
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 Found Our Flag