Fallen Hero


I paused by the Cathedral yesterday as a military funeral was taking
place; another young man home from Afghanistan. The rest of the world,
apart from a few old soldiers and those of my generation passed by
without a second thought or glance.

I do not seek to glorify war; no right minded person can ever do so. I
simply acknowledge that those of us who are left owe the fallen a debt
of gratitude; even just a moment of our valuable time to stand and to


Fallen Hero.

Old hearts cry out in their despair,
Another funeral,
Full military honours today,
Tribute to a young man who gave
His all
For you and I,
In the service of his country; proud
To wear the uniform,
To serve,
Determined to uphold freedom,
Our right to live
Speak; enjoy a life without fear,
Killed by cowards afraid to fight
As men; man to man,
Reliant on the bomb; hidden
An unseen device,
Ready to cause a lingering death
ravaged by pain,
Loss of limb; perhaps own dignity
Before merciful relief at last,
Dead too to the torment; hell
Of those nearest who wait; cry
Die as a loved one’s life slips away.
There are no words
None that this poet knows to tell
The debt of gratitude we all owe
This brave hero,
A youth robbed of a noble future,
Perhaps a family without a Dad,
A widow mourning,
Proud of her man yet inconsolable,
Commands just moments of our time
to pause,
We may not have known him,
But surely it is our duty to remember,
Without him
His sacrifice and of so many before,
We could not walk this way today,
Free men our heads held high.

Patrick R.
September 2012.

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