by Lloyd Klar (dec.)
Veteran, 22nd Bomb Squadron
Her great roaring engines are long silent,
Her guns are pitted with rust.
Olive drab paint is flaking and faded,
Turrets are covered with dust.
She sits and waits for her crewmen,
Those young men from another day.
Fifty long years have passed and gone,
Since they all went away.
Where have all those young men gone,
Those boys she knew so well?
They took her there and brought her back,
What stories they can tell.
Some are buried in foreign lands,
War records tell the place.
"Killed In Action" the official words,
Or just "KIA" to save space.
Others went down in a fiery crash,
Just where, no one can tell;
Over Burma jungles or China cliffs--
No markers where they fell.
Others came home, the war was over,
We dissipated like the dew.
Then separately we all went our ways,
Back to lives we knew.
But in every airman's inner thoughts,
Quiet moments as day ends,
We hear again those engines roar
And voices of our friends.
Now we're aging and almost grey;
Again friends are starting to fall.
They're going now into that long last sleep
That comes one day to us all.
So here's to our fellow comrades,
Those still here, or passed away,
We'll remember you as you once were
In a distant place and day.
As we stand here now in silence,
We'll think of you and smile.
Get ready for that final briefing;
We'll join you in a while.