Monday, May 26, 2014

Sleep Soldier Boy

Growing up in small-town Wisconsin, the beginning of summer was by the Memorial Day Parade, staged by the various veteran's groups (VFW, Amvets, American Legion . . . ). Traffic on Main Street would be blocked, and we would gather quietly on the Main Street Bridge. There was a ceremony conducted by the veterans, and always began with the pledge "as long as two comrades remain...".  At the time, we even had World War I veterans marching in the parade, and now, if the tradition has continued, there are many more veterans.  Many more.

At the end of the remarks by whatever dignitaries were present, a song was sung in a brittle tenor voice "Sleep Soldier Boy Sleep On..."  It was touching because I could imagine that he actually knew the Soldier Boy personally, either a son or a buddy.  After the song, a floral wreath would be tossed off the bridge to float down the river, as the color guard gave a 21-gun salute. The pigeons who lived below the bridge would all fly out around the wreath as it headed down the river. 

"Your journey is ended; your work here is done. Sleep soldier boy and rest. "

Here's a video from another small town's observance (unknown town) featuring the song by a much younger vocalist. Thanks to "cdb913"

To the soldiers who believed that there is still something worth fighting and dying for in this world -- Thank you.

1 comment:

Samantha Mozart said...

We can never have too many remembrances of those lost in battles past.