Tribute by Alfred Joyce Kilmer

The bugle echoes shrill and sweet, but not of war it sings today.

The road is rhythmic with the feet of men-at-arms who come to pray.

The rose blossoms white and red on tombs where weary soldiers lie;

Flags wave above the honored dead and martial music cleaves the sky.

Above their wreath-strewn graves we kneel; they kept the faith and fought the fight.

Through flying lead and crimson steel they plunged for Freedom and the Right.

May we, their grateful children, learn their strength who lie beneath this sod,

Who went through fire and death to earn at last the accolade of God.

In shining rank on rank arrayed, they march, the legions of the Lord;

He is their Captain unafraid, The Prince of Peace. . . who brought a sword.

~Alfred Joyce Kilmer

[Alfred Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918) was an American journalist, poet, literary critic, lecturer, and editor. A prolific poet (most famous for “Trees” – “I

think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree . . .” – his works celebrate the common beauty of the natural world as well and his faith.

Kilmer was born in New Jersey and served in the ‘The Fighting 69th’ during World War I. He was killed at the Second Battle of the Marne at the age of 31.]



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