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Memorial Day/Main Street USA

The murmur of a May morning.

Flashing Lights.

A far-off drum roll.

Wars beyond the reach of time.

The High School Marching Band.

This Is My Country.

It's A Grand Old Flag.

Girl Scouts. Boy Scouts.

Baton Twirlers.

Little League Sluggers.

A police department's navy-blue line catches the light

From Fire Engine Company 33's distant sun.

A boy with rain-colored eyes

Pulls his sister's strawberry curls--

Fine as baby powder.

The gallant Grand Marshal.

The American Legion.

No worn-out movie heroes these.

Washing over the Normandy coast,

Scrambling across the white cliffs of Dover.

Losing Miss Saigon. 


Where valiant armies clash by night.

Loyal, steadfast, brave, and true.

They gave the last

Full measure of devotion

So freedom could be our breakfast food.

Sleep tight, America.

By Barbara Shields


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