Because of the Brave

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Because of the Brave

 He’s just an old man, all grizzled and gray

But he still can remember the hour and the day

When the long war ended, the fighting had ceased

The blood of young soldiers had brought about peace

His memory still harbors those dreadful vignettes

Vile scenes of battles he would like to forget

He answered the call and he took a stand

He went in a boy but came out as a man

He has lived quite a life, he has stories to tell

When a boy went to war and came back from hell

We owe him a debt, he paid a huge price

Our country is free due to his sacrifice

High in the sky Old Glory still waves

O’er the Land of the Free because of the Brave

Sue Ikerd

October 2, 2011


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You probably have never heard his name or have seen a picture of him. Romeo was a sailor working at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001 when the plane hit the building. He was 3 days short of his 24th birthday. His mother got in touch with me after she had read some of my 9-11 poetry and we became friends. I wrote this poem in rememberance of Romeo and all those who died that day. We may not know their names or have seen their faces but we can never forget what happened to them and our country that day.

Copy of Romeo Bishundat


A Tribute to a 9-11 Victim and all the Victims

His parents named him Romeo as in the Shakespeare play
He also died a tragic death on that fateful day

From the Pentagon to Arlington, his life had been so brief
Now those he loved are left behind still numb with disbelief

His birthday just 3 days away he would always be
This sailor, son and brother forever twenty three

He was handsome, kind and caring, fun loving, full of life
But he would never be a father; he would never take a wife

When the planes hit the buildings and death rained from the sky
We stared with tears in horror and we asked each other, why?

As smoke rose from the Pentagon, Old Glory was unfurled
A symbol of our resolve and a message to the world

The memories are fading with each passing year
We must not take for granted the freedom we hold dear

As we repeat the story we vow we will remember
When our lives changed forever on the Tuesday in September

Sue Ikerd

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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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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

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Freedom Isn’t Free

As we remember on this Memorial Day weekend…

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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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