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Salute to Fallen Heroes

Story ID:7263
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Poem
Location:Hemet CA. USA
Person:Chelse Kansas Kid
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Salute to Fallen Heroes

“Salute to Fallen Heroes” was the theme
Of the Riverside National Cemetery
As we attended the ceremonies
Of May 30, 2011, today.

The band was great
As they played songs
That Marines, Infantry, Navy, Air corps veterans
Sang along.

As I looked around
At the many veterans there
There seemed to be nothing but friendship

Whether the veteran
Was an officer or a NCO
Seemed to be on equal footing
As you talked and watched the show.

I met a P-38 Mechanic
I met a veteran of Viet Nam
Another veteran with a Purple Heart
A WWII Navy Corpsman

I shook hands of many of the Vets
Some I’ll never see again
But today was our day
In my memory they will always remain

Some with canes
Some in wheelchairs
Some could barely get along
But thousands of veterans were there.

At the end of the program
As Taps was played
We couldn’t help but tear up
Hearing those beautiful tones that were made.

We thought about Scott our son
Buried not so far from where we sat
Recalling his burial ceremony
And with a Navy man playing taps

With the echo of the second horm
On that afternoon
As we listened
A gut wrenching tune.

Now the programs over
As we are leaving the stands
There was a feeling of brotherhood
As all extended their hands

In an act of friendship and togetherness
Felt by everyone
Miles of smiles
As we move on.
Monte Manka 05-2011