Dick Raymond's Poem for our 60th Reunion


                                         A Few Lines for ‘54’s 60th                              
                       I’ve written lots of verses through the years,
                       And some of them were good, and some were not-
                       A few might bring forth sentimental tears, 
                       While others may be classed as tommyrot. 
                       I’ve had my fun in jabbing at the brass,          
                       Some of their antics sure deserved the jab,
                       When admirals have played the pompous ass,
,                      As armored as an ancient horseshoe crab.  
                                            But now is not for snickers,            
                                            It’s a time of celebration,
                                            A toast to us, who spent our lives
                                            In service to the nation,   
                                            We carried out our contract,          
                                            And our lives were on the line 
                                            So lift a glass and fill it,      
                                            With whiskey or with wine!            
                        We can’t refrain from reminiscent laughter
                        To think of joys and sorrows that we shared--
                        The caps we flung at Dahlgren’s steely rafter, 
                        For duty, how we deemed ourselves prepared!
                        But loud congratulations quickly faded, 
                        And soon we learned the burden of command, 
                        Our fitness by our enemies was graded, 
                        With two-point-five too weak a mark to stand. 
                                            Yet four-point-o’s our record,  
                                            We have surely stood   the test,
                                            By surface, subs or airmen,            
                                            By Marines, our very best--            
                                            For even in a prison cell                    
                                            They carried on the fight,                
                                            Among our bravest warriors    
                                            Are men we toast tonight!             
                       We pause, in recollection of the passing 
                       Of men we served with, whom we came to love, 
                       Whose ranks we see have daily been amassing,  
                       Who’ll greet us, up on Fiddler’s Green above. 
                       But hey! Tonight’s a festival occasion,            
                       A forward look at brighter days ahead,          
                       A time for hope, for positive persuasion,   
                       No gloomy faces, give a cheer instead!          
                                            Health to the Class! Let’s hear it,
                                            Till the sound is echoed back,        
                                            Seamen, keep the rudder steady,
                                            Gyrenes, hold ’em in the black--
                                            Let it be the standing motto           
                                            Of stout-hearted ‘Fifty-four,         
                                            That our hearts beat high for NAVY
                                            And each other, evermore!           

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