saw a burial with a bugler playing taps;
I turned to my father, what happened? I asked.
He clutched my hand and with a quiver in his voice,
he began to explain and his eyes became moist.
My son, he said, this is rather difficult for
for an old veteran like myself this is tough to see.
In that coffin lies a genuine patriotic warrior,
an honest-to-God hero, an American soldier.
I appreciate that soldier and the service he gave,
and I honor his sacrifice as hes laid in his grave.
He was honorable, selfless, courageous, and bold;
please remember him son, as you grow old.
The value of his service, I must explain,
if not remembered, will be lost in vain.
As a nation were nothing without soldiers like him;
and failing to remember would be a terrible sin.
I listened in awe as my father spoke,
it seemed as if his heart were broke.
I suddenly remembered when he went to war,
and when he returned I thought nothing more.
I never asked why he walked with a limp,
and I didnt care about why he was sick.
I was too busy enjoying the life that I had,
to realize that I had it because of dad.
I finally understood what my dad was about,
and it hurt so bad I cried out loud.
He sacrificed so much so I could be free,
and his battle scars were suffered for me.
It was my fathers spirit that spoke to me that day;
thank God I finally understood what he had to say.
I saluted his coffin as they laid him to rest,
and I thought about the medals pinned on his chest.
That I didnt honor him sooner, I will always regret;
and I pledged that day to never again forget.
Im proud that my dad was a patriotic warrior;
Im honored to be the son of an American soldier.
Coet is a retired US Army officer. He is also a professional
educator and a published freelance writer and poet. Ed Coet has
had numerous articles published on a wide variety of topics. His
hugely popular and top-rated article "Testimony of a Suicide
Survivor" can still be read on Soldierworks.com, Amazines.com
and Ezine articles.com. Ed Coets short story, "Davids
Angel," will be published in the popular ezine Bewildering
Stories (issue 234) in the February 26, 2007 edition. His
poems have been published or have been accepted for publication
in Purple Dream Ezine, Solder Works Magazine, Children,
Churches & Daddies Magazine, Scars publication,
Steller Showcase Journal, Both Sides Now Journal,
Because We Write Magazine, Authors Den Ezine.