Down by the wall there’s a man dressed in rags.
His worldly possessions in two plastic bags.
And despite his great age he stands tall, straight and true.
Touching the names of the men he once knew.
Then after a while he fades back to the streets.
Where he sleeps in the park and begs food to eat.
And sometimes he wonders, "What was it all for?"
If we can’t honour veterans why send them to war?
Down at the graveyard the grass is not mown.
The weeds run amok and the plots overgrown.
Gone now the gardener ashamed that it is
Now home to the drunks and the derelicts.
How soon we forget all those who did fall.
Forgotten old soldiers, just names on a wall.
If we no longer honour who answered the call.
Then we no longer have any honour at all!
Jerry A Banks