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Standing here under the darkness of a cool night,

Feeling the mistiness of a tear in my eye,

My mind full of memories of the rage of war,

My heart full of the sadness of dying young faces,

As I think of the families whose hearts never mend.


Children’s faces under helmets of war,

Young men and women sacrificing all for the country they love,

Never seeking glory or fame,

They fight for the safety of family and friends,

And the security of the citizens whose freedoms must survive.


Those who serve now, and we who have,

Know the truth of our personal debt to our country,

For freedom is not free,

It must be earned, sacrificed for,

Not given.


Those who waste the rights we have earned in blood,

Waste the honor of our country like pennies in a fountain,

But we will always remember those who gave all,

And the families who shed tears for their missing loved ones,

Because we are the true Americans and our hearts will never fail.


Michael J. Kilgus

Gladiator 059


  1. John Ryan says:

    Grandfather Killed in World War 1 whom I never got to meet I thank you for volunteering despite leaving behind a pregnant young wife whom you had hoped to return to, your ancestors live on through her and through me and so does your Patriotism for the United States of America.

    On this day and others like it you are always remembered along with the family you left behind to protect in that “War to End all Wars” as it was seen back then.

    We did not leave you in France, we moved you to your neighborhood so loved ones could visit your grave and their you have been ever since, visted by your wife, child, grandson and sister in law at Cypress National Cemetery in NYC.

    Thank You Grandfather for your courage and bravery in combat, though I never got to meet you nor did your own daugher born months after you left we have upheld all you died for throughout our lives and I have passed it on through my children.

    Today is your day “Grandfather” !!! Very soon it will be a Century of time that has passed since that day you died in the hospital recovering from your wounds.

    Rest Assured Never Forgotten at any time during or since then. Your brother John passed in the 1950;s and kept in touch and watched over things in your absence, I got to meet him as a child and young adult until we lost him too so I am it now, the only survivor of the family and carrier of your genetics but again out there by way of 4 children survived out of 5 so your memory will still be alive and so will your genetics as well.

    Your Grandson and only one by your only daughter JMR..

  2. Tom 57th AHC Gunner says:

    WW 1, both grandfathers fought and wounded.
    WW 2, all uncles fought all wounded, one KIA in Serrig Germany, March 7th, 1945, he was my mothers brother. My father also wounded.
    Korea, 6 of 8 cousins fought, 4 wounded.
    They are all gone now except for my fathers brother, my uncle Paul. He’ll be 92 in August. Fought with the 75th Infantry Division. God bless them all. I will never forget any of them and they will always remain my personal heros.

  3. John Ryan says:

    I also have uncles, cousins and of course my Father that served in the World Wars, Dad did the entire time in the South Pacific due to being already in the military, the Army National Guard so it was a 1 2 3 train ride for him and others in the same situation first to Fort Rucker Alabama and then to the west coast for deployment to the South Pacific Islands, would have been part of the Million man parachute drop into Japan if it were not for the decision to use the Atomic Bomb instead..

    Most of us around this age grew up in a very patriotic environment in the late 40’s, all of the 50’s and at least a major part of the 60’s and probably still don’t know what happened to this country while we were gone serving in the Military but we know now and want to return it back to how it was left to us by the ”Greatest Generation that Ever Lived”.

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