The Footlocker

      He had to leave his life long home and move in with his son,
      He was alone and now this house was much too big for one.
      His wife had died and now his children were all grown and gone,
      He had to make some changes now while letting life move on.

      He packed up all the things he had, the furniture was hocked,
      And now he sits and stares at something that was always locked.
      A footlocker he kept around tucked in his closet room,
      So dusty now he had to sweep the top off with a broom.

      He found the key to open it, a life of memories,
      And when he did the dust from it just made him stop and sneeze.
      He smiled as he thought of the locker and the safe contents,
      Why do people save this stuff, it really makes no sense.

      He opened it remembering some things it held inside,
      The memories of his life gone by and of his wife who died.
      But as he shuffled through the locker some things came to view,
      That he had long forgotten in a time when life was new.

      He saw his army souvenirs brought back from over seas,
      And realized the horrors that he went through getting these.
      A worn out leather album from his fighting days gone by,
      He knew it would bring tears but he would flip through it or try.

      The first page held a picture of the guys in his outfit,
      Emotions flooded over him as he just looked at it.
      There was Joe beside him who had been his dearest friend,
      But in the heat of battle Joe had met an early end.

      There was Pete "the cut up" who had always joked around,
      And to this day nobody knows why just dog tags were found.
      Then he spotted Walter in the picture on the side,
      He had held him in his arms the day that Walter died.

      In the back row on the left he noticed Willy Joe,
      He was sent home crippled when a land mine struck his toe.
      Looking at the faces of the men who went to war,
      Trying hard within his mind to not tally the score.

      Some had died and some were wounded and then some escaped,
      The horrors of the bloody battles some were saved by fate.
      He looked again at all the faces knowing all of them,
      Never had he knew a group as tough as these had been.

      But now he thinks of those who went to fight for liberty,
      Knowing in their heart they fought to keep this country free.
      Knowing in their minds and souls that some would not return,
      But knowing that the fires of freedom must forever burn.

      He starts to feel the teardrops fall as he remembers them,
      Especially Joe who lost his life and was his dearest friend.
      So many men and women gave their lives to keep us free,
      And many times it seems like it's a distant memory.

      But as we gather to enjoy the holidays of May,
      And the parties and the picnics of Memorial Day.
      Let us not forget the reason how it came to be,
      Men and women fought and died to keep this country free.

      Celebrate with all your heart in any way you wish,
      But as you enjoy all the freedom stop and think of this.
      Your freedom came at quite a cost and some have given all,
      And you can celebrate today because they met the call.

[ by James A. Kisner © 2001 ( -- {used with permission} ]


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