When Heroes Die
Or ships on foamy seas,
Parades of mourners doff their hats
Saluting golden deeds.
For sacrifice deserves the praise
From those who freely stand
Unshackled by the hero’s touch
To live in freedom’s land.
Yet soldiers marching home alive
So rarely hear our cheers;
Though sacrifice continues on
Throughout their golden years.
As fathers they lay down their lives;
Their daughters they protect.
They build new heroes in their sons
To follow in their steps.
As husbands they reflect the Christ,
Our savior from above.
They honor, cherish, give their lives
A sacrifice of love.
The tales say soldiers never die
From hither to beyond;
They merely fade from flesh to dust
And rise again at dawn.
And I for one declare this truth;
This hero lives still now.
His heart resounds within my breast,
Reminding me of how
He pushed my shaky bike and then
Released me to the wind.
He picked me up and dried my eyes
And swabbed my bloody shin.
But heroes never mourn a fall
And wallow in their tears;
This heart I’ve gained has taught me how
To rise and conquer fears.
So cheer this soldier’s homeward march
Whose fragile shell grew old;
Now broken, gray, and motionless;
Now lifeless, dark, and cold.
But soldier heroes merely fade;
They rise when trumpets call.
A hero’s heart cannot be stilled
It beats within us all.
For sacrifice can never end;
It multiplies and thrives
‘Till trumpets sound that last shrill note
Concluding all our lives.
And then in triumph we’ll ascend
For finishing the course;
We’ll see the Hero Son of God,
The sacrificial source.
So now we bury but a shell,
Our hero’s aged cocoon;
We know from heartbeats in our breasts
We’ll see our hero soon.