Ramp Ceremony

We stand together -
Men from an unlikely
combination of nations.

A silent gauntlet
shoulder to shoulder for a
hundred meters

between the
burdened team of six
and the iron belly of the plane.

The music, slow and solemn,
precedes the passing pall.

Backs straight, bellies tight -
we salute the men who gave it all
to win the fight.

and as they pass - six steps that strain
together - more sincere than perfect -
up the ramp
and gone.

These men have passed the mortal test.
We send them with respect to final rest.

Kandahar Airfield
2009

by David Abrahams

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