I normally try to write my own stuff and shy away from hanging my hat on the peg of others work, but I came across this poem today by the worlds greatest poet, Edgar A. Guest. Originally published in 1918, near the end or just after WWI, it struck me as rather relevant in 2005.
To the Men at Home
by Edgar A Guest
No war is won by cannon fire alone;
The soldier bears the grim and dreary role;
He dies to serve the Flag that he has known;
His duty is to gain the distant goal.
But if the toiler in his homeland fair
Falter in faith and shrink from every test,
If he be not on duty ever there,
Lost to the cause is every soldier's best.
The men at home, the toiler in the shop,
The keen-eyed watcher of the spinning drill
Hear no command to vault the trench's top;
They know not what it is to die or kill,
And yet they must be brave and constant, too.
Upon them lies their precious country's fate;
They also serve the Flag as soldiers do,
'Tis theirs to make a nation's army great.
You hold your country's honor in your care.
Her glory you shall help to make or mar;
For they, who now her uniforms must wear
Can be no braver soldiers than you are.
From day to day, in big and little deeds,
At bench or lathe or desk or stretch of soil,
You are the man your country sorely needs!
Will you not give to her your finest toil?
No war is won by cannon fire alone.
The men at home must also share the fight.
By what they are, a nation's strength is shown,
The army but reflects their love of right.
Will you not help to hold our battle line,
Will you not give the fullest of your powers
In sacrifice and service that is fine
That victory shall speedily be ours?