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Memorial Day May 31-2010

Story ID:6049
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Poem
Location:Hemet CA USA
Year:2010
Person:Chelsea Kansas Kid
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Memorial Day May 31-2010

Yesterday while
At the Riverside National Cemetery
We were among the thousands
Who were in attendance on this day.

There must have been five thousand Harleys
Flying American Flags, and “MIA's”
The riders of these machines
Were there to represent fallen comrades, with us today

The Marine Band was excellent
From the start to the end
When Taps was played
By a member of the Marine band.

There were fly overs from March Air base
During the many short talks
From Privates to Generals
And Congressman Ken Calvert.

But the one that struck me the best
Was by a Sgt. in the Marines
Who had served in Viet Nam
And was scorned by the masses, it seems

How on returning to the states
He was spat on and cursed
For fighting in an unpopular war
And to make the matters worse

How his brother who also fought
In Viet Nam
How his brothers mind had been affected
With the things that had gone on

He told of many battles
Where his comrades were ripped and torn
How he had prayed to God
To keep him safe from harm.

The Sgt. said he would never forget
The faces of the soldiers who had died
Or the faces of the ones
Who fought while by his side.

How he longed to hear just two words
If a little compassion could be shown
The two words, easy to say, are
“Welcome Home”

With his talk ended
Just to let him know
We welcomed him home
We gave him a five minute standing “O”

As I turned to leave
I saw a man who had served in Viet Nam
I shook his hand
And said “Welcome Home”

This tough looking man
I saw his eyes fill with tears
Strange how this affected him
After all these years.

We then decorated
The grave of Scott, our son
Then headed home
The Memorial Day was done.

Monte L. Manka 06-01-10