Memorial Day Poem

by Edgar A. Guest

These did not pass in selfishness;
they died for all mankind;
They died to build a better world
for all who stay behind;
And we who hold their memory dear,
and bring them flowers today,
Should consecrate ourselves once more
to live and die as they.

They were defenders of the faith
and guardians of the truth;
That you and I might live and love,
they gladly gave their youth;
And we who set this day apart
to honor them who sleep
Should pledge ourselves to hold the faith
they gave their lives to keep.

If tears are all we shed for them,
then they have died in vain;
If flowers are all we bring them,
forgotten they remain;
If by their courage we ourselves
to courage are not led,
Then needlessly these graves have closed
above our heroes dead.

To symbolize our love with flowers
is not enough to do;
We must be brave as they were brave,
and true as they were true.
They died to build a better world,
and we who mourn today
Should consecrate ourselves once more
to live and die as they.

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