THE POEM ``I AM A VETERAN''; Congressional Record Vol. 148, No. 147
(Extensions of Remarks - November 14, 2002)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E2037]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                      THE POEM ``I AM A VETERAN''


                           HON. STEVE ISRAEL

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                      Thursday, November 14, 2002

  Mr. ISRAEL. Mr. Speaker, I rise to share with you the words of Rabbi 
Paul Swerdlow, one of my constituents. Rabbi Swerdlow's poem ``I Am a 
Veteran'' conveys his love for his country. I am most grateful for his 
dedicated service to securing our freedom.

                             I Am a Veteran

     I am a veteran.

     I shivered that cold winter in Valley Forge
     And rejoiced at the glorious surrender at Yorktown.
     I wept at the flames that engulfed Washington
     And said ``never again.''
     I wore blue and bled red.
     I wore gray and bled red.
     The blood I spilled was to reunite a nation
     Of the people, by the people and for the people
     I am a veteran.

     I was at Little Big Horn and I prayed;
     I was at Wounded Knee and I prayed;
     I prayed that one day the old Americans
     And the new Americans would be one people.
     I was there to charge up the hill at San Juan;
     Knowing that my country was emerging
     Beyond its borders.
     I was prepared to make the world safe for democracy.
     Young and idealistic, I came to France
     To turn back the hordes in this war to end all wars.
     I am a veteran.

     It was with disbelief that I became
     A part of the day which will live in infamy.
     Once more I said goodbye to those I loved
     To protect my country.
     Across the vast desert I met the enemy.
     I met him on island after island.
     I kept my promise to return.
     I met him on the beaches of Normandy.
     I repelled him from the gates of Bastogne.
     I freed thousands from the shadow of death.
     I am a veteran.

     A small nation cried out for help
     And I came because others had been there for me.
     A nation was saved.
     I felt the agony of defeat in the jungles of a distant land.
     BUt I held my head high
     When another people cried out,
     I again put on my uniform to save them from tyranny.
     Today I remain ready to pledge my life,
     My property, my sacred honor,
     Until there will be peace and freedom on earth
     For everyone, everywhere.

     I am a veteran.