There have been several protests at military funerals here in St. Louis, by the Westboro Baptist Church. After one of those protests, Little Ribbons sprung from my quill full-grown; my protest against the protesters, as it were.

by Mike Patrick

Flickr photo by relojstudio

Resplendent on the deep, deep blue
Of the full-dress uniform,
Are little ribbons aligned in rows.
To regs they must conform.

He always wears that uniform
When ere he comes to town.
Takes more, I think, than simple pride
To be the man he’s found.

Old warriors notice the ribbon count,
And many a friendly guy
Would buy a round and shake his hand
To a whispered, “Semper Fi.”

Do you recognize those ribbons:
The ones upon that chest?
To know them well does surely tell
How this country has been blessed.

On the top row, the Silver Star.
For gallantry it stands:
Bravery under hostile fire
On distant, burning sands.

This purple one is the Purple Heart.
Three times it was received.
In battles where his brothers died
He survived, but still he grieved.

After today they’ll fade away;
Be displayed never more.
After this eulogy
They’ll close the casket door.

“Proud to serve my country,”
Is etched into his stone.
God needed one more hero,
This Marine is headed home.

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