Parkland Press

Friday, May 29, 2020

Chosen Words

Thursday, September 13, 2012 by The Press in Opinion

When an American dies

There are whispers and sighs

When an American dies

Does the world get a little bit colder?

There's a town or a village

Back in the "old country"

That the wind blows through

Somehow knowing

That she's just lost one of her children

Who learns that recipe now?

And the man in the moon is left wondering

Will we be back to visit him soon?

He stares into space, with that look on his face

Are there more giant steps from mankind?

Who carries our flag 'cross the heavens?

And the bombshells and bullets and craters

Remember the ones who were there

And gave back to the people their country

With all the toughness and kindness

we've shown

Who gets that medal now?

And the crosses that still stand in Normandy

Is there a riffle through the grass

Where they stand?

Do the flags all fly at attention

As tribute to all the Americans

Who early have been called home?

Who reads their names at roll call now?

And at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Lies a secret we already know

They sacrificed without us ever knowing

Their town or their streets or their names

They fought for their country undaunted

Their names are all known as "American"

Who leads their procession now?

There's a Lady who stands in the harbor

Does a tear trickle down from her eye?

For all of those who have seen or have heard her

There's always a loss

When an American dies

Who will hear her call and heed her cause?

And somewhere in Africa or Asia

There's a project bringing water and health

And medicine, hospitals and healing

For the many that are ravaged by poverty

And cry out for America's help

Who answers that urgent call?

And what about all of the money

We Americans send out hither and yon

To peoples, and countries, and charities for care.

For causes, for mercy, and teaching

Who puts the check in the envelope now?

These are a few of the reasons

For thinking our country so grand.

Especially with all of our peoples united

The world might feel a little diminished

And maybe a bit smaller in size

There has never been anything like us.

The loss is real, and can never be filled

When an American dies.

Nickolas N. Zaccaro