“The boys” and I are walking after midnight.
The night is moonless, cloaked in inky black.
As we approach the end of the block, the sight
of an American flag – so brightly lit from back
lighting its stars and stripes radiate glorious color
quite striking – makes me stand and stare. My pride
swells as I am flooded with one thought after another…
how this flag represents a people who never run and hide,
how to democracy and justice this country was mother.
Some folks these days – our younger ones in particular –
do not harbor deeply felt love and respect for Old Glory.
Some never stop to think of all the sacrifices so spectacular
that veterans willingly made, a centuries-old wartime story.
But, those who have seen their countrymen fight and die
to bravely raise this flag, all tattered and bloody, in the heat
of battle…and seen fellow soldiers who perished in the try
returned home in flag-draped caskets with honor replete…
will never let an opportunity to salute Old Glory pass them by.
As we turn for home, the dogs and I, one thought stays with me –
just how fortunate we are to reside in the world’s greatest country.
Harry Edward Gilleland  06.25.04