4th DEGREE

Anyone interested in joining the 4th Degree should send in their applications now.
Applications can be brought to a meeting or mailed to the Council.


CHRISTMAS POEM

Let's try to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes,
living and dead, who sacrificed themselves.

TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF PLASTER AND STONE.
I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
AND TO SEE JUST WHO IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.
I LOOKED ALL ABOUT, A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS, NOT EVEN A TREE.
NO STOCKING BY MANTLE, JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.
WITH MEDALS AND BADGES, AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
A SOBER THOUGHT CAME THROUGH MY MIND.
FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT, IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,
I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER, ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.
THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING, SILENT, ALONE,
CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.
THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE, THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER,
NOT HOW I PICTURED A UNITED STATES SOLDIER.
WAS THIS THE HERO OF WHOM I'D JUST READ?
CURLED UP ON A PONCHO, THE FLOOR FOR A BED?
I REALIZED THE FAMILIES THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,
OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.
SOON ROUND THE WORLD, THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,
AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.
THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,
BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS, LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.
I COULDN'T HELP WONDER HOW MANY LAY ALONE,
ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.
THE VERY THOUGHT BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE,
I DROPPED TO MY KNEES AND STARTED TO CRY.
THE SOLDIER AWAKENED AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,
"SANTA DON'T CRY, THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE.
I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM, DON'T ASK FOR MORE,
MY LIFE IS MY GOD, MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS."
THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,
I COULDN'T CONTROL IT, I CONTINUED TO WEEP.
I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS, SO SILENT AND STILL,
AND WE BOTH SHIVERED FROM THE COLD NIGHT'S CHILL.
I DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,
THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR SO WILLING TO FIGHT.
THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER, WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,
WHISPERED, "CARRY ON SANTA, IT'S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE."
ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH, AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT,
"MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT."

This poem was written by a Marine stationed in Okinawa Japan and submitted by
Brother Jim Kelly a Korean Veteran.



AROUND THE CORNER

Around the corner I have a friend
In this great city that has no end
Yet days go by, and weeks rush on
And before I know it a year is gone
And I never see my old friend's face
For life is a swift and terrible race
He knows I like him just as well
As in the days when I rang his bell
And he rang mine, we were younger then
And now we are busy, tired men
Tired with playing a foolish game
Tired with trying to make a name
Tomorrow, I say, "I will call on Jim
Just to show that I'm thinking of him"
But tomorrow comes -- and tomorrow goes
And the distance between us grows and grows

Around the corner ! -- yet miles away ........
Here's a telegram, sir .... "  Jim Died Today. "

And that's what we get, and deserve in the end
Around the corner, a vanished friend

(Reprinted from The Knight Rider Jan 2001)
ST. ANASTASIA COUNCIL #5911

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS

PO BOX 141, LITTLE NECK, NY 11363-0141

718-279-9096
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