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A REMINDER FROM THE A.E.F.
By Berton Braley
Once on a time we marched gaily away from you.
Sailed overseas to the fields that were red,
Fought in the trenches — and waited for pay from you;
Starved for you, froze for you, suffered and bled.
Some of us stayed there, under the clover now
Sleep after deeds that were brave and sublime,
Do not forget, though the slaughter is over now,
We went through hell for you, once on a time!
True, all we fought for has not yet been realized,
“Statesmen and diplomats” plotted and schemed,
Scoffing at hopes that they thought were “Idealized”
Fools who could not understand what we dreamed;
Still, though the “leaders of thought” proved perfidious,
Dragging our visions through muck and through slime,
We freed mankind from a menace more hideous,
We saved the world for you, once on a time!
Four years have gone since the cannon ceased hammering,
Four years have passed since the conflict was won,
Aye, and in spite of all cynical clamoring,
It was a task that was splendidly done;
Peace is about us, the peace that we bought for you,
Bought with the splendor of youth in its prime.
Let not your memory lose what we wrought for you,
We won a war for you — once on a time!
(Copyright, 1922, NEA Service)
Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Nov 11, 1922