Just a news flash o’er the airwaves,
Cryptic words that simply said
In their tremendous import;
‘President Roosevelt is dead!’
News that stunned the many nations’
For whom he sacrificed his days,
In immeasurable Devotion,
Far beyond our power to praise.
In the flush of allied triumphs
With ‘V’ Day just a step ahead
Lovers of freedom everywhere,
Mourned one of their Greatest Dead.
From the frozen North to icy South,
From fighting East to war-torn West,
Freedom’s victory cry was hushed …
Humanity’s friend, had gone to rest.
Yet as he passed from mortal ken,
He left behind in the hearts of men.
A fragrant imperishable memory,
That will linger as long as Liberty.
Can clasp the Torch and hold it high
And men down the ages gladly die,
To keep alight its Sacred Flame
Inspired by a revered name.
Mighty tributes from great men
To this great man’s memory, have been paid
Praising him in the name of millions,
For the glorious part he played.
To free the world from Tyranny;
In its darkest hour
But the ranks of lesser men,
Who only knew him from afar,
Franklin D Roosevelt will ever live,
As a friendly Evening Star,
That lighted their way in the blackness,
Of Earth’s most fearsome night.
To pass from view as the Morning dawned
On Freedom’s triumphant fight.
‘Roll out ye drums, your solemn knell!
Roll on …and on, to Eternity!’
Franklin Roosevelt has joined
History’s noblest Fraternity.
‘Sound the Reveille! Blow, Trumpeters Blow!
This be his Epitaph on banners unfurled!
He fought for Humanity,
Spent himself for the World.
W R Whiteside, April 1947, Whakatane NZ ©