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Mark Gunderman

Edgar Albert Guest (20 August 1881 – 5 August 1959) was a British-born American poet who became known as the People's Poet. His poems often had an inspirational and optimistic view of everyday life. His poem, “Memorial Day,” in words quite elegant and inspiring...

The finest tribute we can pay

Unto our hero dead today,

Is not a rose wreath, white and red,

In memory of the blood they shed;

It is to stand beside each mound,

Each couch of consecrated ground,

And pledge ourselves as warriors true

Unto the work they died to do.

Into God’s valleys where they lie

At rest, beneath the open sky,

Triumphant now o’er every foe,

As living tributes let us go.

No wreath of rose or immortelles

Or spoken word or tolling bells

Will do today, unless we give

Our pledge that liberty shall live.

Our hearts must be the roses red

We place above our hero dead;

Today beside their graves we must

Renew allegiance to their trust;

Must bare our heads and humbly say

We hold the Flag as dear as they,

And stand, as once they stood, to die

To keep the Stars and Stripes on high.

The finest tribute we can pay

Unto our hero dead today

Is not of speech or roses red,

But living, throbbing hearts instead,

That shall renew the pledge they sealed

With death upon the battlefield:

That freedom’s flag shall bear no stain

And free men wear no tyrant’s chain.

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