Wednesday, June 02, 2004

A poem by National Guardsman Ben Sleaford
"Do I Believe?"

Sometimes I ask myself what I believe
What is the one thing I will not leave?
I ask myself what is it I want
as I stand in a row with my eyes front.

I ask myself in the back of my head
What is that thing for which so many have bled?
As I stand in that long, green row
I ask myself, "Will I go?"

Will I be courageous?
Will I be brave?
Will I like a soldier
be strong and behave?

Will I stand with feet planted facing my death?
Will I be fighting to my last breath?
Will I be frightened and die all alone
Never again to see my loved home?

And I ask myself "Do I believe?"

Do I believe in what
for my father fought?
Do I believe in what
at the cost of their lives my uncle's bought?

If I'm not brave, if I'm not ready
When the time comes will my hands be shaky or steady?
In the back of my mind a little light flicks
a mental wheel turns, a brain cog clicks

An answer comes into my head
In a stern voice it is said
You have to believe now and forever
for those who see freedom as a worthy endeavor

For those who fell for the Liberty Bell
For those who fell in the War of 18 and 12
Who at Gettysburg's high tide believed it
and believing it, died.

For those at Beaull Wood
for those who freedom stood
At Iwo and Normandy
Men just like me

You must believe for the men who fell
at the Pusin Perimeter
Oh what a story to tell
For those who went to the jungle to fight
And in that jungle, died one night.

You must believe for who will?

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