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Christmas Eve at Arlington
(A Twenty-One Line Salute)

Across the lawns of Arlington
America’s daughters and her sons
Rest side-by-side, one by one

While hard and polished heels click
As though the whisper of St. Nick
Across the hills and over creek.

Twenty-one paces, nearly clocked,
Mark the time, thus unlocked,
Since the call to service knocked

And took these soldiers, fit and well,
To defend our liberty until they fell
Facing cannon ball and mortar shell.

Given grave alternative
Each had but one life to give
For the freedom in which we live

And thus, to this field, from each war
Have come these heroes by the score—
Some known to God, but no one more.

“Tis Christmas Eve at Arlington
Where America’s daughters and her sons
Wait for Christmas, one by one….


By
James N. Zitzelsberger

Reflections following a visit to the Arlington National Cemetery
as part of the Old Glory Honor Flight for Vietnam Veterans
August 2nd, 2013


© 2013
 


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