It would mean a lot to me if this poem, written by my brother, D. L. Williams, could be used in your Remembrance Gallery.
D. L. served in the Army, 75th Infantry and fought in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium, Colmar Pocket in France and also in Germany. His poem covers all wars, not just one. I know he would be eternally grateful for it's inclusion in the Gallery.
An old veteran walked down the street,
Smiling and waving to all he did meet.
No one returned his wave or his smile,
They knew he would be gone after a while.
His uniform was old, but clean and neat,
He took pride in his looks, but had little to eat.
The limp he had with each weary step
Was from a mortar in a foxhole as he slept.
He left one leg in that land far away
And no one seemed to care to this very day-
Was it on the Normandy beach on that awful day?
Or maybe on a ship in Pearl Harbor Bay?
Or the Colmar Pocket in southern France?
When everyone said "we don't have a chance."
You see, he is a veteran, the forgotten man;
He has seen it all from Europe to Saipan.
Now, in the autumn of his life,
In his mind he can hear the drum and the fife.
He stops, and there, waving in the breeze,
Though not a leaf was stirring in any of the trees,
The Stars and Stripes was billowing out above-
He saluted, and left with his heart full of love.
He limped away with a tear in his eye;
He had come full circle, he was ready to die.
And that's the story, not of one man,
But of all who fought to save our fair land,
So it seems very fitting on this Veteran's Day
To pay tribute to all who were in harm's way.
They were so young, they were so brave-
They didn't deserve an early grave.
They gave their all on the battlefield
So all who came later had a chance to live.
The people who ignored him on that city street
Wondered aloud about this man they did meet.
When they saw Old Glory waving with no wind,
They wanted to see that old veteran again.
They turned to tell him they had been wrong
But they were too late, the old man was gone.
No one ever saw that old man again;
He had disappeared in the cold winter rain.
And that's what's happening to our heroes of war-
Soon they will all be gone to that heavenly shore.
So dodge the draft or burn our flag,
But don't mess with a vet with only one leg.
He has seen it all; he's not afraid anymore-
He's been through the Hell they call war.
Being a coward or a hero is up to you,
As for me, I fought for the "Red, White and Blue."
(Mr. Williams served in the Army, 75th Infantry, and fought in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium, Colmar Pocket in France and in Germany) Copyrighted Aug. 1999, D. L. Williams