JUST A COMMON SOLDIER (A Soldier Died Today) by A. Lawrence VaincourtHe was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast, And he sat around the Legion, telling stories of the past. Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done, In his exploits with his buddies; they were heroes, every one.And tho' sometimes, to his neighbors, his tales became a joke, All his Legion buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke. But we'll hear his tales no longer for old Bill has passed away, And the world's a little poorer, for a soldier died today.He will not be mourned by many, just his children and his wife, For he lived an ordinary and quite uneventful life. Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way, And the world won't note his passing, though a soldier died today.When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state, While thousands note their passing and proclaim that they were great. Papers tell their whole life stories, from the time that they were young, But the passing of a soldier goes unnoticed and unsung.Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land A guy who breaks his promises and cons his fellow man? Or the ordinary fellow who, in times of war and strife, Goes off to serve his Country and offers up his life?A politician's stipend and the style in which he lives Are sometimes disproportionate to the service that he gives. While the ordinary soldier, who offered up his all, Is paid off with a medal and perhaps, a pension small.It's so easy to forget them for it was so long ago, That the old Bills of our Country went to battle, but we know It was not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys, Who won for us the freedom that our Country now enjoys.Should you find yourself in danger, with your enemies at hand, Would you want a politician with his ever-shifting stand? Or would you prefer a soldier, who has sworn to defend His home, his kin and Country and would fight until the end?He was just a common soldier and his ranks are growing thin, But his presence should remind us we may need his like again. For when countries are in conflict, then we find the soldier's part Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.If we cannot do him honor while he's here to hear the praise, Then at least let's give him homage at the ending of his days. Perhaps just a simple headline in a paper that would say, Our Country is in mourning, for a soldier died today. TAPS Day is done, Gone the sun, From the hills, From the lake, From the skies. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh.Go to sleep, Peaceful sleep, May the soldier, or sailor, God keep. On the land or the deep, Safe in sleep.Fades the light; And afar Goeth day, And the stars shineth bright, Fare thee well; Day had gone, Night is on.Thanks and praise, For our days, 'Neath the sun, 'Neath the stars, ‘Neath the sky, As we go, This we know, God is nigh.Sun has set, shadows come, Time has fled, we must go to our rest. Always true to the promises we've made.Fading light, dims the sight, And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright. From afar, drawing nigh, Falls the night.I AM THANKFUL... ...for the taxes that I pay because it means that I am employed! ...for the messy house to clean because means I have been surrounded by family and friends! ...for the clothes that fit a little too snug because it means I have enough to eat! ...for a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home! ...for all the complaining I hear about the government because it means we have freedom of speech! ...for the spot I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking! ...for the piles of laundry and ironing because it means I have clothes to wear! ...for the weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been productive! ...for the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it means that I am alive!