I also had the great privilege of asking Bob to be, and he accepted, the honor of being the parade Grand Marshal for Veterans Day in Lebanon a few hears ago. I, too, sat in complete admiration of this soldier. I kept thinking at that time, and still do, some of the words in A. Lawrence Vaincourts magnificent poem, A Soldier Died Today. (The poem is also known as Just A Common Soldier.) It is quoted in part below:
He was just a common Soldier
And his ranks are growing thin.
But his presence should remind us
We may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict
Then we find the Soldiers part
Is to clean up all the troubles
That the politicians start.
If we cannot do him honor
while he's here to hear the praise
then at least let's give him homage
at the ending of his days.
Perhaps a simple headline in the paper that might say
Our country is in mourning for a soldier died today.
Lt. Col. Jim Henderson,Retired, U.S. Air Force,Lebanon