Alix M. Hall

Alix M. Hall
Alix Hall, a Vietnam Veteran Nurse,
speaking at the Moving Wall in Tampa Bay, April 2001
Alix is a Vietnam Veteran Nurse

THE TORCH IS PASSED

The old men simply shook their heads.
Old women looked and smiled.
And someone said, “Without a doubt
Those young folks are just wild.”

“They don’t remember how it was,
They haven’t any clue.
But we remember in our hearts
As old folks often do.”

We gave the old ones due respect.
We learned from them and then
We lived in our own time and day
Without “Remember when.”

We fought our own foul enemy.
We bled our own red blood.
We wept our share of bitter tears
For fallen in the mud.

Our day was different we said,
Our time was here and now.
But we held in our hearts and minds
That they had shown us how.

They aged and fell, the old ones did.
We stood and mourned their fall.
And turned around and found ourselves
As old ones after all.

We looked and smiled as they marched by
The young who took our place
They had their own foul enemy
In their own time and space.

And they remembered us with love
As they marched on their foe,
“They showed us how, they paved the way
That we now have to go.”

And then they went where duty called
Without a backward stare
At old ones left remembering
What we had had to bear.

But that is how it is, you see.
They passed the torch and then
We kept it burning in our day
And passed it on again.

That torch will ever shine you know
That flag will ever fly
Where freedom is the watchword
And honor is the cry.

Each growing generation learns
The stories old ones tell
That duty is the price we pay
To guard our freedoms well.

At Valley Forge and Gettysburg
And at the Alamo:
At Belleau Woods, Pearl Harbor
And Normandy, Iwo.

In Berlin and Okinawa
Inchon, and Seoul, you see.
The Highlands and the Delta
Saigon, the DMZ.

In Cuba and Grenada
And so in Panama:
Kuwait, Iraq, the desert
And even Bosnia.

Our country calls, they answer,
Wherever it’s to be.
The torch is passed beyond us
For freedom isn’t free.