The Memorial, II

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
A delicate word is needed here
For these ones we hold so dear
For costly their honor, costly their truth
At great cost did they prolong their youth
Into something it wasn't- by being thus
To their calling as a sacred trust
Though we may in time disregard their wars
The hour is late, the sand down-pours
But a man stands and says, "All should know
As we men once remembered the Alamo
Should we realize all our hild so tragic are
As to render us most piteous by far
Yet we remain, through fratricides and falls
The spirit of the warrior has not yielded the walls
Our men fought with weapons not as good
And yet overcame those who thought they should
And fair! Did we not have them test their steel
For arms and horse and wing that feel
Of mastery, that clutch of arrows I saw
Clasped in the brazen eagle's left claw
-- his grip slackens, but they remain sharp
O muse! Here prepare your harp;
For how great is their honor if true
That every battle they fought was Waterloo
A loss! But even sensing this fact
Did not turn away, never once slacked
And so they remain, a proud statuary
Men who are and were what most could never be.
The soldier is not called to break his oath
But to fulfill it even if to do so is loath."
A hard truth, for whom may receive its call
Would be memorialized in this very hall.

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