Enjoy your long weekend, but please take time to recall the sacrifice for your freedoms that are the reason for the holiday. Do you honor our dead by the way you lead your life?
The troubled world can offer no award
To you who sleep beneath the chiseled stone.
You died because we handed you the sword,
And we are free because you sleep alone.
The tides of history well may change the cause,
And time may blunt the sharpness of the debt,
For sacrifice, a nation under laws
Is gathered here today, lest we forget.
I composed this poem while marching in the Fitchburg, MA Memorial Day Parade in 1975, then used it in my speech at the upper common. (I’m not sure the crowd believed it was newly composed.)