Light breezes whisper through the secluded valley.
The mournful sound of taps echoes across the hills.
Announcing the passage of a warrior, borne from this earth
to a final reward befitting his dedication, courage and sacrifice.

Six mourning brothers carry him to this place of finality
Solemnly marching to the silent cadence of unheard voices
Boots shined to perfection, brass shining in the sun
Eyes straight-ahead, looking but not seeing, lost in remembrance.

Draped carefully over the warrior is a simple piece of cloth, a flag.
A shroud of honor reserved for those who fought to defend its purity.
White stars resting proudly in a field of blue, alternating red and white stripes.
America lost a son today, a patriot, a man of honor, and a guardian of freedom.

Just a small piece of cloth, a flag, ceremoniously embracing a simple coffin.
But a revered symbol of all that we have been, of all that we are, and of all that we will be.
A glorious banner that bears the stains of patriotic blood from millions of its sons
And proudly waves its promise of freedom to the oppressed.

A small repository, six feet deep and three feet wide, sanctified by the Creator.
Ground now made hallowed by the remains of an American son, a soldier of the flag.
Freedom’s work is work that cannot be accomplished by cowards or dissidents.
Only heroes pay the price of victory, the price of freedom, the price of glory.

Guard you carefully this simple flag, this shroud of glory, this banner of the brave
Let no man vilify this sacred cloth, nor disrespect its meaning, its purpose, its intent.
For intertwined within the threads of this exalted standard lay the souls of patriots
Who held it high in battle and sacrificed their lives to perpetuate its glory.


For SgtMaj J.M. Dyson, USA Ret 2001
by: L. Dunn, USN Ret
22 February 2001