Memories of Memorial Day

Sad son standing all alone
Staring at the marker stone.
Father died he never knew—
Died for him and died for you.

Widow’s tears upon her cheek.
Trembling body feeling weak,
Kneeling at her husband’s grave,
Knowing that his all he gave.

Family planting on a tomb,
Waving flags in grayish gloom.
Salute the son and father, too,
Buried with red, white and blue.

Attending solemn ceremony,
Crowd is silent for the glory
Earned in battle by their men.
Gun salute brings the “Amen.”

Listen to the bugle call:
Taps is played and that is all.
None can ever take away
Memories of Memorial Day.



LTC Roy E. Peterson is a writer, retired U.S. Army Military Intelligence Officer, Foreign Area Officer, and Foreign Commercial Officer who currently resides in Texas.

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13 Responses

  1. Brian Yapko

    Thank you, Roy, for your patriotic and respectful words. It is critically important that we remember the sacrifice of those who died for this country and to push back against those who are trying to twist American history and defame what our country stands for.

  2. Russel Winick

    These heartfelt words set the proper tone for the day. Thank you for contributing them.

  3. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Roy, thank you for your solemn and heart-touching words of respect for our fallen, their families, and their friends. We must never forget the price of freedom. Your words keep these memories alive and I’m grateful for your poem. The picture Evan has chosen says so much and highlights your message perfectly on this day of grief and gratitude. Thank you too, Evan.

    • Roy E. Peterson

      Bless you, Susan for your heartfelt comments and for the poetry you provided, as well!

  4. Jeff Eardley

    Roy, we are the generation over here that will forever remember the sacrifice of your countrymen. We have often been moved to tears at the Omaha beach cemetery as the flag is lowered at close of day. Thank you for this on your special day and thanks Evan for the perfect illustration.

    • Jack DesBois

      Jeff and Roy, thank you both for your thoughtful sentiments this Memorial Day. I am of the generation that has been taught by a Progressive society to feel vaguely uncomfortable at the existence of Memorial Day. I’m fighting that indoctrination, and reading poetry like yours, Roy, helps set my heart back on a truthful path, reverencing those who gave up the things of this world for the sake of God’s Kingdom.

      Jeff, your comment reminded me of a man I met when I was working in eldercare a few years back – Ron Hadley, a WWII Navy veteran who survived no fewer than four amphibious invasions during the war, including Normandy and Okinawa. I helped him give a PowerPoint presentation about his experiences, and the local community television station recorded it. You can watch Ron’s talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MH0YmXm19a8

  5. Margaret Coats

    Your poem describes the ceremonies as well as recalls the memories. Good to notice that both are important on these dedicated days.


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