Poetry

Retired Colonel

For The Honor And Love Of A Retired Colonel

He speaks of patriotism with an eloquence lost to the gentlemen of bygone
eras…patriotism hard and true…straight from the heart…God, Corps, and
country…duty for the sake of duty but not for advancement or economic gain. He
speaks with pride and integrity and honor…qualities wasted by many men but held
proudly by a United States Marine. His eyes are sharp and cold as blue steel,
his spirit full of fire. A rigid jaw and an unyielding hand calloused by years
of service to his country and its cause, he points out the scars…battle wounds.
A story he tells for each and every mark, his memories flooding back to him,
taking him to years long past. He speaks of brothers-in-arms, fallen but never
forgotten who paid an ultimate sacrifice for freedom. Stories of heroism and
bravery in the hell that is war pass his trembling lips. He gazes upon the wife
and children he so often left alone, his strength and will passed on to them,
and a memory in each face before him…left her for the first time when duty
called in 1959…married her when he returned in 1960…his first son, born while
doing combat maneuvers. The list goes on. Duty is over for him now and time to
join all his brother marines gone before. My father is gone. The world has lost
one of its finest and as the rain falls I have to think that even God weeps. I
fall asleep with his final words on my heart…Semper Fidelis.

I died today and as my body lay lifeless I soared…far above the clouds to the
Utopia that is Heaven. I saw the gates made of pearl and gold shining so
brightly that I could scarce make out the figures on either side. As I
approached, my heart filled with elation unknown to me ever before. I looked
down and found myself in dress blues…and there he was in all his glory. My
father stood as head of the guard protecting Heaven’s gates. He was young and
vibrant…a Marine in his prime. He took my hand and introduced me to his
guard…Johnson, O’Donnell, Bryant, Shively…all of his brothers gone before. He
smiled at me and with pride in his voice he said to me, "So you see my
daughter, the hymn is true…the streets are guarded by United States Marines."
On that note he opened Heaven’s gate and said to me, "Semper Fi…your duty
continues."

By Christine Marmaud

contributed by Christine Marmaud [This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
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