Thursday, November 11, 2010

Some Heroes Survive...

The Highest Price

Why would a guy throw himself on a grenade knowing he would die?

Greater love hath no man than this
That he would lay down his life for his friends

For Love…Dedication...Duty...Honor...Country...

In a rice patty, a desert plain, a city street

Khe Sanh

Beat the drum slowly to echo the final fleeting beat of a heart
So noble, so pure
To endure the pain of death for friends

In battle warriors win honor, respect, and the title hero
They display valor above and beyond the call of duty
Most of them, posthumously
After they paid the highest price
The Highest Price

Heroes get awards:
Congressional Medals of Honor
Distinguished Service Crosses
Silver Stars
Bronze Stars
Purple Hearts

We put their names on walls for all to see
For all to grieve the loss of valiant souls
Then, they are laid in graves
Their secrets, sins, and fleshly desires
Their lust and passions, failings and flaws
All washed away the moment they died a heroic death

Purified by sacrifice

To die like that
A glorious way to erase the stain of human frailty
To be hailed a hero for all eternity
Unstained by controversy

Because everyone loves a hero
Especially a dead one

The highest price?

Some heroes survive…
Outliving their glory, becoming has-beens
Shadows of their own brilliance
Burnt into the sidewalks of pedestrian life
Where their legacies are trampled upon

Maybe they should have retired in their primes
Maybe they should have faded away
So they could stay immortal to their admirers

These heroes…
They don’t know why they survived
They envy the ones who died
And, if you ask them, they’ll tell you
Why a guy would throw himself on a grenade knowing he would die

The Highest Price

To reach the pinnacle of admiration
Only to topple because people can’t bear to see
The humanity embodied in a hero who survived

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