THE OLD SOLDIER AND THE FLAG

When I was growing up the 4th of July was a special day in my hometown beginning with a parade around the court house square. They still have that parade and it’s known for being one of the longest held parades in the country surviving for well over 100 years.
Veterans were at the head of the parade as honor guards, carrying the flag. One soldier stood out in my memory. He was still able to wear his WWII uniform and wore it proudly as he led the parade for over 50 years. When I was small I didn’t realize what these soldiers had gone through, their sacrifice and the gift of freedom they had given us. I wrote this poem in memory of them and all the veterans as we celebrate our country’s birthday and freedom.

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THE OLD SOLDIER AND THE FLAG

His uniform was a little frayed and the brass had lost its shine
But it brought back memories of when he was in his prime
Of fought battles and lost buddies, he could never talk about
But he was proud he had served, of this there was no doubt
So with pride he donned it every year on July the Fourth
And he held Old Glory high as proudly he stepped forth
To lead the parade in his hometown as he had for 50 years
But sadly time had taken its toll and now the old man feared
That this might be his last parade and who would take his place
As he marched around the courthouse square at now a slower pace
It seemed no one paid respect to the flag as it passed by
It wasn’t like this years ago and he sadly heaved a sigh
And then he stumbled and the flag almost touched the ground
From somewhere a hand steadied him and he slowly looked around
As a young soldier stepped to his side from amongst the crowd
And took the flag from the old vet’s hand as the young man vowed
“I’ll gladly carry our country’s flag, you see it’s now my turn
You’ve served Old Glory faithfully and a rest you’ve duly earned”
The old soldier breathed a sigh and his heart now swelled with pride
And together they marched down the street, two soldiers side by side
Remember our country’s freedom wasn’t earned without a price
Through the years soldiers bought it with their lives and sacrifice
When you see the flag waving in the air, view it with respect
And give thanks and say a prayer for those who defend and protect
For now and future generations, may it fly forever free
May God bless America, this land of liberty

Sue Ikerd

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We Walk Among Heroes

 I wrote this in tribute to Dr Tommy Macdonnell  and all the soldiers from WWII I grew up with not realizing I was among heroes. And for all the other veterans who have bravely served.

We Walk Among Heroes

He was bent over and gray as he shuffled along
But back in his day he was handsome and strong
He landed on D-Day in forty-four
Forever etched in his mind the horrors of war
People rush past him and don’t realize
They’d see a hero if they looked in his eyes

Soldiers and veterans all over the land
Served from Guadalcanal to Afghanistan
Fighting oppression and tyranny
They gave their lives so some could be free
So many battles and so much death
Our flag still is flying from these soldiers’ last breath

Walking through fields of stones and white crosses
It’s hard to grasp the heartaches and losses
Families and friends left here to mourn
But freedom was won for those yet unborn
As they cover the hills beneath the green sod
I walk among heroes now home with God

Sue Ikerd
May 28, 2014

Categories: Military / Veterans, Poem | 2 Comments

Freedom Isn’t Free

As we remember on this Memorial Day weekend…

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FREEDOM ISN’T FREE

I lost my life at Valley Forge my hand froze to my gun
I was but still a lad my life had just begun
Because we chose to bravely fight and die for liberty
Our great nation did emerge
Freedom isn’t free

It was spring at Chancelorsville I fought in a field stained red
We rallied against the foe while around us lay the dead
I lost my life that fateful day in 1863
To right the wrong and unite our land
Freedom isn’t free

Poppies grow in Flanders Field, their numbers rival the dead
Each bloom denotes a life cut short this field is now their bed
Men fought in this foreign land from homes across the sea
They gave their lives for their beliefs
Freedom isn’t free

The sun shines on fields at Normandy with crosses overgrown
Gleaming white among the rows stands mine with the word “UNKNOWN”
My name is lost my face forgot I died for lives yet to be
That you might live in this great land
Freedom isn’t free

They fought in trenches cold and damp in deserts hot and dry
In jungles dense they thought of home, as they were about to die
Our flag still waves above our land because of men like these
We can’t forget their sacrifice
Freedom isn’t free

For generations they’ve stepped forth, left home and family
Some served on land, some in air and some served on the sea
They pledged to preserve, protect and defend our sacred liberty
So evil would fail and right prevail
Freedom isn’t free

Sue Ikerd 2003

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For EMS Week

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This week is National Emergency Medical Services week.  This poem pays tribute to all the paramedics and EMTs and what they give up and what they do in service for their communities.

Thank you for your service!!

Paramedics

Twenty-four seven they answer the tones
Going into the night to face the unknown
They don’t finish meals or get a night’s sleep
They have calls to run and a promise to keep
Helping a baby take his first breath
Comforting an old man as he faces death
They miss birthdays, Christmas and family affairs
While carrying patients up and down stairs
They work in conditions far from ideal
With a heart of compassion and nerves made of steel
They face many dangers, bullets and blood
Tornadoes and terror, storms, fire and flood
They’re called for toothaches, headaches and rashes
Heart attacks, gunshots, and deadly car crashes
They tell a young mother her child has just died
Or take a friend to the ER on his last ride
As they pray to God, begging and pleading
They work on their patient, broken and bleeding
Their jobs aren’t easy, it takes a rare breed
To respond to a call of someone in need
They’re our unsung heroes, just doing their job
Out saving lives as they partner with God

Sue Ikerd
September 5, 2012

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Christ’s Passion

With all the bunnies and eggs and candy, the world sometimes seems to forget the reason for Easter. Please enjoy this poem and think about the great sacrifice that was made for all of us.

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Christ’s Passion

In the Garden of Gethsemane to the Father cried the Son
“May this cup pass from Me” but “Thy will not mine be done”
The cock crowed a second time on that cold Jerusalem morn
It was time to accomplish to what He had been born
Although they could find no fault, they sentenced Him to die
The crowd shouted out their choice, Barrabas was their cry
He was scourged and beaten, spat upon with scorn
Mocked as on His head they pushed a crown of thorns
The cross that he shouldered weighed heavy upon Him
The burden that He carried was laden with our sin
The pounding of a hammer resonated ‘cross the land
As a Roman soldier drove the nails into His hands
He asked for their forgiveness, “for they know not what they do”
A message not for just that day, it was for me and you
He cried out to His Father as the sky turned dark and gray
A tear fell from Heaven and God slowly turned away
An earthquake tore the temple veil as the angels cried
He commended to God His Spirit and then my Savior died
Scarlet footprints to Golgotha, crimson streams ran down the cross
Each drop of blood was precious, this blood He shed for us
They placed Him in a borrowed tomb and sealed it on that day
But on the Sabbath He had risen when the stone was rolled away
“I will be with you always”, is the promise that He made
He offered us eternal life as He triumphed o’er the grave
He suffered greatly for our sins and paid the sacrifice
An awesome love was shown for us in the Passion of my Christ

Sue Ikerd
March 8, 2004

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