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Contributor: Merrill Vaughan || Poem Categories

Five Brotherscountry as flag
The five brothers stood together shoulder to shoulder
Their faces bowed down, watching the ceremony below
These five brothers were not blood brothers
Nor brothers in the legal sense as well

They watched as the American flag snapped in the breeze at half staff
Beneath, the POW flag also snapped in time
They watched as six escorts carried a flag draped coffin
Slowly, the coffin was lowered to the straps above the grave

They watched as the Honor Guard stepped back one-step
At parade rest, each of them proud of this detail
The five brothers looked at each other approvingly
For they had been there, and done that

They looked and saw the seven-person rifle squad
Also at parade rest, their weapons leaning outward
The two buglers were ready at opposite corners of the small cemetery
Ready to play the haunting sound of TAPS with an echo

Softly, they heard the honor guard and rifle team come to attention
Above, the five brothers came to attention as well
For they now looked down to see the flag from the coffin slowly raised up
They watched as the honor guard prepared to fold the flag

With dignified reverence, the flag was properly folded and prepared
Till the flag was in the tri-corner shape with the blue field and stars on top
Slowly, the senior member secured the flag in between his hands
He presented the flag to the family and slowly saluted the flag

The rifle team became ready with their weapons pointed heavenward
"Ready, Aim, Fire" is the command three times
Those in uniform salute their fallen comrade
As the team fires, everyone jerks and tears start to flow unashamed

The haunting tones of Taps begins from one corner
Chills are sent thru everyone as the second bugle begins to echo
The five brothers look at each other and nod approval
Not a tear in their eyes as they can cry no more

The five look down and wave forward their next brother
The five brothers are no more for now they are six
All brothers with one identical reason
For they had all been killed in combat

Never to feel the shock and trauma to their bodies
They now stand in line, shoulder to shoulder, the oldest one first
In order they were WWI, WWII, Korea, then
Vietnam, Desert Storm and now War on Terror
By Merrill Vaughan, Ret. USAF MSgt.
Veterans Assistance Site
Copyright 2003
Listed April 6, 2009
It is illegal to use this poem without the author's permission.
~~ Send your comments and/or use permission request to
Merrill Vaughan. ~~
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