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On Rosecrans Hill
Grand du Nevada Voiture Locale 306

This poem is dedicated to the more than 75,000 veterans lying in Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, CA, who, in the course of four great wars, fought for the cause of freedom. It is adapted in part from the classic, "In Flanders Fields" by Maj. John T. MacRae, and gives voice to the question every American veteran, living or dead, might ask today.

 

 
 

On Rosecrans hill the grasses grow
Between the headstones row on row
That mark our place as in the sky
The gulls, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard against the surf below

We are the dead. Not long ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunsets glow
We chose for freedom's cause to die
And now upon this hill we lie
As grasses green above us grow

We knew the price we had to pay
To keep the enemy at bay
We gave our all, we fought the fight
To keep aglow sweet freedom's light
Remember this, we ask today

One thing we ask of those not slain
Will you fight on for freedom's reign?
If war returns, as it well might
Will you take up the gallant fight?
Yes, answer us! You who remain

And so we lie here, asking still
If you, our sons, will have the will
To sacrifice as we did then
That your sons, too, may live free men
As we wait still, on Rosecrans hill

 Jeffrey T. Naas

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