When I Hear the Sound of "Taps"
by Robert L. Hinshaw

When I hear the plaintive sound of "Taps" on Memorial Day,
Or hear that clarion tune when a soldier is laid away,
I strive to remain stoical but I'm easily moved to tears,
As I recall the sacrifices of heroes throughout the years.

Valiant men suffered hardships at their posts at Valley Forge,
To win our nation's Independence from resolute King George.
Stalwart men died in the War of 1812 and at the historic Alamo,
To sustain our precious freedoms - so much to them we owe.

The Civil War upheld the Union, tho' much needless blood was shed;
'Twas during that awful conflict that "Taps" was born, 'tis said.
Sadly, its haunting tune is yet heard today o'er the hallowed graves
Of soldiers who gave their all to ensure that freedom's flag yet waves.

They served with honor to defend the liberties we hold dear,
And to preserve dignity for others around this troubled sphere.
Giving all on the Altar of Honor for mankind's follies to atone,
Alas, in return, all they merit is a simple marble stone.

'Tis troubling that most every day we hear that melancholy strain,
Echoing across the nation from mountain, prairie and plain.
As a mournful nation gathers to wish each a sad goodbye,
Parents, spouses and children are left to wonder - WHY?

Copyright © 2008 - Robert L. Hinshaw
Published: 6/5/08   ·  Author's Page   ·  Next Poem