Lie down to rest, dear soldier,
Be at ease, for the battle’s been won.
Take pride in your service, well given,
Take measure of the peace that’s begun.
The days of campaigning are over,
Long nights of planning now through,
From those who remain at your station,
A salute, for our hero, was you.
‘Twas honor we witnessed in your service,
And dignity in the manner as done,
An example to carry now forward,
A legacy for daughter and sons.
Responsibility was your cohort’s true calling,
With challenges of Depression then war,
Yet through all the deprivations and hardships,
Your duties you steadfastly bore.
It’s that spirit of dedication that reminds us,
As we look back to honor you anew,
How any could’ve asked for another,
As supportive and elegant as you.
Literature was among the pleasures that filled you,
Art, music, and poetry, too.
For hours you’d sit in your respite,
Reciting the sonnets anew.
Whether Shakespeare, Tennyson, or Kipling,
Coleridge, Browning, or Scott,
The words of the English high masters,
Haunted your reverie and brought,
Peace and serenity in abundance,
Their verse whether elliptical or sure,
Captured your deepest attention,
And like a friendship held you secure.
And when others took notice then interest,
Inspired to listen or read,
You shared your passion, the true mentor,
And widened our horizons, indeed.
Now as we reflect upon the time you were allotted,
And regard the blessings you leave,
We cannot be anything but grateful,
For the wisdom and kindness received.
And we who loved you most dearly,
We who now stand in your stead,
Accept your legacy well knowing,
Soon comes our time to pass it ahead.
Thus if rewards are apportioned in like spirit,
And judgment remains constant and true,
Then your commendation is at full measure,
While our record remains to accrue.
So lie down to rest, dear soldier,
In our hearts, there will always remain,
Service to family and country,
As your loving, everlasting refrain.
Pop passed in May 2010