|A Soldier's Final Inspection
The Soldier stood and faced God
Which must always come to pass
He hoped his shoes were shining
Just as bright as his brass.
"Step forward you Soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"
The Soldier squared his shoulders and said
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't
Because those of us who carry guns
Can't always be a saint.
I've had to work on Sundays
And at times my talk was tough,
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.
But, I never took a penny
That wasn't mine to keep.
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills got just to steep,
And I never passed a cry for help
Though at times I shook with fear,
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around
Except to calm their fears.
If you've a place for me here,
Lord, It needn't be so grand,
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand."
There was silence all around the throne
Where the saints had often trod
As the Soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.
"Step forward now, you Soldier,
You've borne your burden well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."
In proud thanksgiving
Let us remember our elder brethren.
They shall grow not old
As we who are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
WE SHALL REMEMBER THEM.