By Brenda Brown Finnegan
Who are these men we honor on this special day,
who, while we were playing "tag," were playing "Taps?"
Who are the women, nurses and clerks,
who, while we were writing poems, were writing home
to mothers and sweethearts of the wounded and dying?
Who are the boys, barely old enough to shave,
who listened to the deafening sound of guns,
while we listened to the Beatles.
While we were swimming in the Gulf,
they were lying on a bloody beach in France.
In a Vietnam jungle, they fanned out and hid,
while we fanned ourselves by the pool.
While we were building sand castles,
they were digging in at Desert Storm.
Who are the men and women who fought no wars,
but pulled guard duty in the heat of August,
while we were lying in tanning beds?
Who drove the jeeps and answered the phones
and typed the orders, while we were cruising down Main Street,
talking on the phone and chewing gum in typing class.
Who are they? They are the grocers, doctors, delivery men
and women; police officers, teachers, priests, homeless.
They are the retired who live next door or in nursing homes.
Some lie beneath crosses at Arlington and Vicksburg.
Some died at Gettysburg while we were bathing
our babies or selling newspapers.
They are our heroes, and today, we thank them!