To keep in mind from day to day
that I am a soldier in the fray;
That I must serve, from sun to sun,
As well as he who bears the gun
The flag that flies above us all,
And answers well my country’ call.
I must not for one hour forget
Unto the Stars and Stripes my debt.
‘Twas spotless on my day of birth,
And when at least I quit this earth
Old Glory still must spotless be
For all who follow after me.
At some post where my work will fit
I must with courage do my bit;
Some portion of myself I’d give
That freedom and the flag may live.
And in some way I want to feel
That I am doing Service real.
I must in all I say and do
Respect the red, the white, and blue;
Nor dim with petty deeds of shame
The splendor of Old Glory’s fame;
I must not let my standards drag,
For my disgrace would stain the flag.
Poem was extracted from a compilation of "Poems of Patriotism" (1942) by Edgar A. Guest