I have been to the place where the white stones line the hill
The place of silence, the place where my freedom lies still.
I must admit, I was not ready for what awaited me there
This place of rest that spoke silently to my soul as I gazed out at the milky stone that beckoned me on…….
On to a date, a chance meeting with fate, on a summer day not so long ago.
Tis just a tour, I thought within as I entered a place that held in its bosom
a million hopes
a million dreams unknown.
A hot July day with no rain past or impending
the ground as hard as the stones that rested upon it
The air as hot as swelter be
I walked and walked with the white stones before me
to my left; they are there
to my right as well
as far as my eye could see.
While surrounded by death, no fear was in me as I continued on in my quest.
I never heard them, these voices all round
yet in my soul, there came deep resound
to refresh anew my hope in this life
to remember my freedom; to remember its price.
I continued my pace till I hitched a ride with others
who were there as well
to see this humbling sight
All around now were voices of life
the laughter and frolic seemed so out-of-place
Then a crack of thunder as the storm clouds gathered
and this dry place….
this place of the Honored Dead,
prepared for the rain.
And in one hundred degree swelter our ride came to a circle of alabaster white walls as the rain began to pelter
the stones on the hill.
What is this place I wondered inside my head
as the folk all around me hopped off our ride
There was something we needed to see
just around the corner on the circle’s other side.
everyone huddled close to the wall
hiding from the rain that from a dark sky did fall.
We saw out away from our dry safe huddle
a lone soldier who stood in the rain
Another came to take his place
as the crowd move away from its dry safe harbor
to watch this solemn moment at the Changing of the Guard.
to this mismatched group of American people
the rain mattered not anymore.
We all stood silently
some with tears mixed with rain
as the procession began and ended
Then something else happened that none did expect
The rain quickly ended and quickly it left.
But as I wondered at the sight I had just seen,
suddenly steam was rising from all the concrete as if in a dream
I walked once again to look at the stones
I walked in the concrete fog all alone with my thoughts
my thoughts of my freedom and the price that it cost.
Suddenly without warning came to my ears
from over the hillside just out of my sight
the sound of bagpipes lilting over the land
Amazing Grace How Sweet The Sound
My eyes did fill with tears as the sky had just been filled with rain
From deep in my soul a realization had came
Every white stone that sat on these sacred hills
represented a family who had lost a son or daughter
a mom or dad,
a friend or a sweetheart
was forever gone from this world;
So that I could be free.
With heartfelt thanks to the men and women of the mightiest military fighting force the world has ever seen.
Freedom is not free
But yet you have bought it for me
With your blood
with your lives
So that America can remain.
I will always be indebted to you
I will not remember you on Memorial day only
but with every day of my life.