Lessons from the Olde Burial Ground - Poem by Gerard Geiger
A poem commissioned by the Olde Burial Ground Restoration Committee of Hackettstown, N.J. in honor of those souls, founding fathers, Revolutionary War veterans, Patriots, and families who founded the community, and those who continue their pioneering work.
Lessons from the Olde Burial Ground

No one starts as a founding father,
all begin inauspiciously and insecure.
We grow and we're nurtured,
as time and circumstance allow, while making our own way.

We all encounter similar hazards in life.
No matter what our station,
each life is amply imbued with measures
of defeat, victory, anguish, joy and love.

Together, we represent in life and death,
the best our society has achieved.
We greet life with head held high facing the sun
and searching the night to ward off danger.

Each day is a new beginning,
another chance to make things right,
another chance to create a better tomorrow.

We take from life the air we breathe, the food we eat,
the space we need to raise our family
...and the friendship and fellowship of others
...gained by working together to achieve efforts more
difficult than those for which one man is able.

We give to others the benefit of knowing us as a person,
our candor, our mirth, our friendship
and our help as concerned members of a community
involved in perpetuating a noble cause bigger than ourselves.

We give freely our ideas for the common good
and the excess earned from our labor
beyond the needs of our self and family.

We leave life with head held high
...facing destiny unafraid
...knowing that we met our challenges with courage
and resolved to overcome adversity.

We lived without unnecessarily burdening others
or straining the bounds of propriety to serve our own needs.
We leave knowing no man has been burdened from our coming here,
and all have benefited...just a little.


Copyright November 2003 Gerard A Geiger

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