Lest We Forget - African American Military History by Researcher, 
				Author and Veteran Bennie McRae, Jr.

The Young Marine


By Thurman W. Adams


©2002. Thurman W. Adams

At full attention and in dress uniform, stood a young Marine,
in Arlington Cemetery, below Custis-Lee Mansion's gentle slope.
He served as a soldier of gallant honor to this tragic scene,
a small plot of land, America's symbol to lost future hope.

As I knelt by the fresh grave of a man I had loved and would miss,
a drama would unfold on the lonely snowy day in December.
Only two people would know the true meaning of this.
Just two people, for this I always will remember.

As a very young teen, I could not help but to weep,
knowing full well and having been taught, men do not cry,
and certainly not a Marine, trained in stoicism and honor so steep.
But cry I did, not able to stop and not knowing why.

As I mourned on my knees, my heart ready to break,
the young Marine came over to me, touching me and knelt down by my side.
And as he spoke words of comfort to me for my own sake,
I became the only witness to his compassion, which he was unable to hide.

As I wiped my eyes, turning my head to look at him,
I saw on his face, which would become the proof.
Tears running down his cheeks, tears filling his eyes to the brim,
his emotions would betray him, for his eyes told the truth.

At that very moment, I knew if this soldier, so brave, could cry,
and he being a young man, older and much braver than me.
I realized if this young Marine could cry, then so could I.
His stoicism had relented and his tears ran so free.

We both stood up, walking a short distance away,he turned to me, placing his white gloved right hand on my shoulder.
Just inches apart, looking me straight in my eyes, he had this to say,
"We will both be alright, sir. It might not be right away and we will probably be older.
But this I know. The President would not want it any other way."

He took a step back, taking his hand from off of me,
but I could not speak, though mightily I did try.
The only thing I could do was to nod my head to agree.
Looking each other in the eye, he placed his right hand to his eyes and we both again began to cry,
and as we parted, I knew then, there was a bond between the young Marine, the President and me.

Category: People | Subcategory: Thurman W. Adams | Tags: Thurman W. Adams
Related Topics / Keywords / Phrases: 2002, Adam, Arlington, GE, John, Marine, Old, Ward,