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HISTORY AND POETRY (6)

(6)

Though the strike was swift and deadly;
   so many men were lost.
These airborne people did their job;
   and the enemy paid the cost.

Today in foreign countries,
   grateful people will relate
To those days when airborne soldiers,
   destroyed the Nazi's state.

Revered by all their children,
   the airborne man will be;
The battle-weary soldier,
   who came to set them free.

In future they would celebrate;
   in a very special way;
In villages and cities,
   in churches they would pray
With gratitude to airborne men,
   who lie beneath their soil
In solemn promise to our dead;
   their graves be kept with toil.

Who are these airborne people;
Who gather round the bier
   with silent tears and memories for a comrade lying there.
With honor-guard and flags of state;
   he lies in last repose,
To be taken from his family
when the final bugle blows.

He is a man, an airborne man,
   with medals on his chest.
Who like so many others,
   gave all; his very best.

Who are these airborne people,
   who started something new
With parachutes and gliders
   dropping from the blue.

They are people just like you and I;
   but special to one another.
In battle baptized to a man,
   as each one to a brother.
Our sons and daughters carry on,
   traditions to this day,
While history's silent voices - echo
"AIRBORNE-ALL THE WAY"

William W. Bell
82nd Airborne
508 Parachute Regiment
WWII  "42-45"

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