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Public Statements

Memorial Day

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, shortly, we will be celebrating Memorial Day, a sacred time of remembrance where we pay tribute to the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives to protect the freedoms we hold so very dear.

I believe that it is especially fitting at this time to share a poem written by my constituent, Mr. Cordell A. Dickey of Roanoke, Virginia. Mr. Dickey is a veteran of Word War II where his unit was part of the division that invaded Guadalcanal on August 8, 1942. The poem was written in the Southwest Pacific in 1943 to honor a fallen friend, Hiram DiAlfordi, who was killed in New Caledonia in 1942.

The commemoration of Memorial Day will likely be a trying time filled with vivid memories of the son or daughter, husband or wife, mom or dad who will never come home. It is the hope of Mr. Dickey that his poem will bring comfort to the family of those who sacrificed for a cause greater than one's self.


(By Cordell A. Dickey)

Twas here I stepped, here I fell, and here

On this far, unfriendly shore,

A dream was lost and shattered forever:

Leaving only fragments scattered on the sands.

To you who loved my life:

Whose heart knew pain when earth's cold bosom

Embraced and held me fast;

I would not have you grieve too much!

Sing no more sad songs for me . . .

Wipe away your last falling tear.

For when I quietly slipped into the void,

To keep with destiny my final rendezvous;

I did not fear to face Infinity,

Or plunge into a dark abyss.

To you who still have life:

Whose shattered spirit needs a healing balm

To make you whole again;

I would that you should know much joy;

Find new faith and hope again!

This above all:

Learn to laugh and sing again . . .

The world is filled with beauty.

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