Thursday, February 18, 2010

Presentation of the Service Flag

The following verses were written by request by Mr. S. B. Kennedy for the Presentation of the Service Flag at the Methodist Church, on July 28, 1918. It was recited by Mrs. H. W. Kennedy, when she presented the Service Flag to the church, which was accepted by Major A. K. Amacker.

We are gathered here together to perform a duty grand,
For our gallant boys in khaki, serving now their native land.
Some are in the camps a-training, some are on the soil of France,
Fighting ‘neath our country’s banner, as the North and South advance:
Fighting for the cause of justice, with the nations o’er the sea,
That Democracy may triumph, and the world be fair and free.
See how proudly hangs that banner!--see the red, the white, the blue,
See the stars that on it glisten, for our soldier boys so true.
Every star that on it shimmers, in the field of spotless white,
Represents a son of some one, who is proud to do his mite.
Four and twenty stars are on it, and for every star so fair,
There’s a boy to answer for it, over here, or over there.
Let us call the roll a moment, as we gather here tonight.
In God’s sacred, earthly temple, in His place of holy light.
David Amacker! I hear him--far across the rolling wave--
Hear his voice--he answers “present”, mid ten-thousand comrades brave.
Walter Lee!--where are you, Walter? “Here” he says, in accents strong,
As he stands among his messmates, in that brave and gallant throng.
Norwood Lee! He answers “present”, and before his voice is still,
There’s another answering “present”--tis our noble Ammons Hill.
Out upon the ocean--somewhere--out upon the surging sea,
Edward Newman answers “aye sir”, with a sailor’s laugh and glee.
While within the heavens soaring, like an eagle in his flight,
Ernest Newman flies an airplane, almost-almost--out of sight.
There’s the youngest brother Clarence, training in the camps today,
Knowing not the day the summons calls him to a land away.
Three sons--and the greatest pleasure that a widowed mother had--
Given up, but given by her, willingly, ‘tis true, but sad.
And as long as mothers like her give their only sons to fight,
Freedom’s cause will ever triumph, for they know that cause is right!
There’s another mother present, and the proudest of her joys,
Is that she too has two soldiers, in the person of her boys.
Isaiah Garrett, a lieutenant, and his younger brother, too,
Both are ‘neath the colors serving, both are to their country true.
Henry Goodrich, in whose bosom glows that never dying spark,
Filled with learning and ambition, he will surely make his mark.
When the cry came ringing southward--”answer to your country’s call!”
There was one who answered nobly, ‘twas our home boy, Otto Hall.
William Bell and Baker Bass, young and strong, with youth aglow,
Baker Bass has crossed the waters, William’s waiting but to go.
Tommy Powell, somewhere landed o’er the ocean--no one knows;
But he’s ready, bravely ready, to combat our nation’s foes.
Now the Mitchell boys have answered, Eugene, Jess, and C. B.,
Two are in the country serving, one is “somewhere” o’er the sea.
Gallant boys! There’s M. G. Dyess, and young Easley, volunteer.
Waiting not ‘till called and drafted, answering nobly “I am here.”
Joseph Powell, strong and handsome, of the bravest and the best,
Serves today his country’s colors, in the far-off golden West.
J. Y. Whitten, Richard Miller, Andrew Jackson Wyly, too,
Stand in readiness to answer--stalwart soldiers, brave and true.
G. C. Martin’s on the ocean, maybe he’s in France tonight,
But where’er he is, he’s ready for his country’s cause to fight.
I have called the roll of honor, of each boy so brave and true,
Now I give this banner to you, it belongs to all of you.
For, while mothers' hearts are bleeding, and while fathers’ thoughts are sad.
Let each think, with pride and pleasure, that they have a soldier lad.
Let us hang this banner proudly, let it wave, unfettered, free,
For it represents our heroes on the land, or on the sea.
May the God who reigns in heaven guide them onward through the fight,
Bring them home once more in safety--this our fervent prayer tonight.
And as long as Freedom’s banner waves in glory to the breeze,
There’s no foe can ever harm it, when it waves o’er boys like these.
May our country live and prosper, as today, throughout all time.
And the Stars and Stripes float o’er us, spotless, fearless, and sublime!