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Remembrance Day

With 400 World War II veterans dying every day in the U.S., this poem, passed along by friends, serves as a poignant reminder of the reason we celebrate Veterans Day (formerly called Remembrance Day).

He was getting old and paunchy

And his hair was falling fast,

And he sat around the Legion,

Telling stories of the past.

Of a war that he once fought in

And the deeds that he had done,

In his exploits with his buddies;

They were heroes, every one.

And tho’ sometimes to his neighbours

His tales became a joke,

All his buddies listened quietly

For they knew whereof he spoke.

But we’ll hear his tales no longer,

For old Bob has passed away,

And the world’s a little poorer

For a Soldier died today.

He won’t be mourned by many,

Just his children and his wife.

For he lived an ordinary,

Very quiet sort of life.

He held a job and raised a family,

Going quietly on his way;

And the world won’t note his passing,

Tho’ a Soldier died today.

When politicians leave this earth,

Their bodies lie in state.

While thousands note their passing,

And proclaim that they were great.

Papers tell of their life stories

From the time that they were young.

But the passing of a Soldier

Goes unnoticed, and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution

To the welfare of our land,

Someone who breaks his promise

And cons his fellow man?

Or the ordinary fellow

Who in times of war and strife,

Goes off to serve his country

And offers up his life?

The politician’s stipend

And the style in which he lives,

Are often disproportionate,

To the service that he gives.

While the ordinary Soldier,

Who offered up his all,

Is paid off with a medal

And perhaps a pension — though small.

It is not the politicians

With their compromise and ploys,

Who won for us the freedom

That our country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger,

With your enemies at hand,

Would you really want some cop-out,

With his ever-waffling stand?

Or would you want a Soldier —

His home, his country, his kin,

Just a common Soldier,

Who would fight until the end?

He was just a common Soldier,

And his ranks are growing thin,

But his presence should remind us

We may need his like again.

For when countries are in conflict,

We find the Soldier’s part,

Is to clean up all the troubles

That the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honour

While he’s here to hear the praise,

Then at least let’s give him homage

At the ending of his days.

Perhaps just a simple headline

In the paper that might say:

“Our country is in mourning,

a soldier died today.”

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mpmills 11 months, 1 week ago

It is very sad to read the opinion poem in the Hood River News regarding Veteran's Day. It is a disservice to both veterans and those the public have elected politicians to serve them to claim that this ill-drafted poem is a, "poignant reminder of the reason we celebrate Veterans Day". It simply is not. We do not celebrate Veteran's Day to instill hatred against our elected officials. To do so would be a disservice to those who sacrificed their lives to protect our democratic freedoms. Why must we insist on taking pleasure in igniting hatred against those we choose to represent us? The vast majority of elected officials make sacrifices to serve the rest of us and are honorable. There are some who serve out of self interest and are not honest. There are dishonorable people in every profession. It is up to us to hold them accountable. My father, Jack Mills, was a veteran and a Hood River Commissioner. His service as a public official, a politician if you will, should be honored no less than his service in the military.

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