Tribute to Those Who Serve

© 2008 Chuck Klein

(Published 30 Mar 08, Brown County [Ohio] Press)

During the Presidential election year, as the rhetoric THE BEST OF CHUCK KLEINdegenerates to name-calling, false accusations and out and out hatred, perhaps it's time we reflect on who we - American citizens of all colors, races, religions and party affiliation - really are.  We all have the same goals, only different courses to achieve them.  Only in America do Democrats and Republicans, side by side, serve each other and each other's compatriots.


Memorial, Veterans and Independence;
Are American tear producing days;
When we honor our soldiers;
Past and present;

We are so blessed;
To have such patriotic citizens;
Who have unselfishly "served" this country;
So many times.

But right here on our soil;
And in highly visible positions;
Are others of every affiliation;
Who "serve" this great nation.

Everyday our first line of defense;
Our police officers and firefighters;
Unflinchingly "serve" at risks;
That cost some their livelihood, and lives.

There are, of course, far more;
Who "serve" America and Americans;
Monetarily and via countless philanthropic groups;
That contribute to our common good;

Complementing these benevolent associations;
Is a multitude of unorganized volunteers;
Who quietly "serve" at hospitals, libraries;
And the vast number of eclectic, charitable fund-raisers.

America is unique;
Inasmuch as this cadre of unpaid citizens;
Take such good care of each other;
That the impersonal socialization;
Found in other countries;
Is not needed here.

Many decent, law-abiding citizens;
The over-whelming majority of Americans;
Also "serve" their country:
By challenging unjust rules, standing up to wrong-doers;
Or facing down bullies.

If warfare ever threatens our front door;
There should be no doubt that our neighbors;
The ones who keep and bear arms;
Will stand back-to-back and shoulder-to-shoulder;
To tender their "service."

May God bless America and every American;
Where ever they may be;
And in whatever capacity they may "serve."