As old soldiers should we just fade away?
Today we awoke to the sounds of birds…not bombs
We awoke to the sound of children chattering…not chattering machine guns
Today we stand looking back at a vanquished enemy… not into his guns.
A nation at peace… though not perfect…a nation at peace!
Peace given to us by…Mere Boys
Mere Boys we all were as we answered the call of our country so blessed.
Mere Boys uncertain of manhood, but, so willing to face the test
That cost us so dearly… and caused many a mother to weep.
Mere Boys, they say
Yet, as mere boys we came from the farms, the plains, the cities, the mountains and the coastal shores.
You saw us fall in New Guinea, Tarawa, Bataan, the steamy jungles of Vietnam, the cold mountains of Korea and the hot sands of Kuwait…
We fell from the skies and slipped beneath the turbulent seas
Our boyhood was forever stripped away that day with the first desperate shot even though the price of a nation’s freedom, our blood, we had to pay and pay and pay…
still we marched away!
They call us mere old veterans.. Mere old men from an obscure past.
They pick out our wrongs and try to change our songs, that sent us marching away… so they can ignore the facts, that is was Mere Boys Who paid the price.
So they can speak their own dialects or worship in their own way or see their children’s eyes open this very day.
Yes, we are mere old veterans, who ask you all to not let this country at peace forget that indeed, among all those that sleep under the protective cover of hallowed sod from Normandy to Manila to Cho Chi to Tampa Bay, Were mere Boys, that day.
Rev. Fred L Rich, Past Department Chaplin, Vermont American Legion