Memorial Day

I wasn’t going to do a Memorial Day post this year, until I came across this video from Juan Browne.  I’ve been following Juan’s YouTube channel for a few months as he’s been doing great reporting on the Oroville Dam situation (he lives nearby).  His unbiased reporting and digging for facts is impressive.  He is a pilot and Air Force veteran.  Today posted this moving video as his Memorial Day tribute.

I’ve been trying to write something new about Memorial Day, but I my mind just won’t move past this poem I wrote a few years ago.  It’s been posted before here before, but today I feel the need to repeat it.

Twenty-one Guns

The tour bus rumbles past
the quiet monuments to the fallen.
Shutters click as the tour guide
speaks the litany of the shrine,
that once was the Lee estate.
Now it is that hallowed ground
where solders come for that long rest.

The Quick rumble passed the carved stones
of the Dead, that once placed
boots of war on their feet.
Their soles now silent.
Now day-trippers take aim and fire.
Cameras, not rifles.
Pictures, not prisoners taken.

The bus stops. The microphone is silent.
To the left a horse pulls a caisson carrying a flag-draped box
That contains a name who once walked.
The warrior sent at our command.
The sightseer sees and falls silent
And hears the echo of guns.
Three volleys and then the mournful notes.

Boys became men
And men became names
And names became graves
Gone is the sun,
Day is done.
God is Nigh.


Now it’s time to go out in front of the house and rise the flag to half mast.

May peace finds us all.


About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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22 Responses to Memorial Day

  1. I hope it was a nice day for you all over there. Really nice poem Andrew; worth reposting it each and every year, it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mitchteemley says:

    A truly touching tribute, Andrew.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, may peace find us all. But in the meantime, thank you for sharing your heartfelt words and this humbling video.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice post. Wishing you well on Memorial day.


  5. George says:

    Beautiful, Andrew, both the video and the poem. God bless them all.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. floridaborne says:

    Thanks for the reminder of what Memorial day is all about. I shared the YouTube video on Facebook.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Wonderful. I just put my flag out, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I found that video earlier today and posted it also. Overwhelmingly powerful.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I saw it last night when I was checking for updates on the Oroville Dam. He surprised me with his touching tribute. When I saw that you had posted it, I got motivated to send it to more people. Everyone needs to see this.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. What a beautiful tribute Mr. Browne made. I’ve been finding that folks really don’t understand the true meaning of Memorial Day – that all gave some, but some gave all with their lives. You poem is also lovely, Andrew. It reminds me of hearing taps played on post when my husband was in the military. Always a kind of haunting memory just like that repatriation ceremony Mr. Browne experienced. I join you in putting our flag at half mast.

    Liked by 3 people

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