This sonnet was inspired by the beautiful ceremony performed graveside at my father's funeral. He was an Army Air Corps member who primarily loaded bombs in England to be dropped all over Europe. The picture shows my father(center) with his two brothers, Roy, Jr.(left) and Harry (right).
Sonnet to the Newly Fallen
They may have flown our flag half-staff one day,
With news that gave reports how you were lost,
Importance that your sacrifice would play,
And how a grateful nation mourns that cost.
Some hands salute; your casket passes through.
A flag is stretched then draped upon its top.
Your family is seated close to you.
And through the service, tears of mourners drop.
Then seven rounds at once three times released.
A bugle’s haunting notes of Taps are played.
The family is seated; flag is creased.
The casket team departs; the flag relayed.
You’ve joined that band with names upon the wall,
For God and us, the ones who gave it all.