The Army Apprentices National Memorial
Standing here, thoughts may return to times and places when we learned
To grow up, disciplined and strong, discriminating right from wrong,
Recalling days of fun and laughter, sure in friendships long thereafter
Lasting through to present day for some, not ever to decay.
Those carefree, lively days when we looked to the future eagerly,
Secure in the belief that our instructors would give us power
To succeed in our chosen spheres, advancing us in our careers,
And reach high levels of promotion if we so desired the notion.
But we who have long played life’s game know that it does not stay the same.
Perpetually our world demands change in time’s hourglass of sand,
And so those places and that time that we recall must now decline
Into a bygone, glorious age, a footnote, proud in history’s page.
But now, as we learned long ago, we do adapt to change and though
Our schools may now no longer be, this symbol of our time will see
The dawning of an age to tell of our existence, and how well
We served through World Wars and beyond, and how strong was our youthful bond.
So here, within this ring of stone, sit on a bench – you’re not alone,
Surrounded by some names of those who served as boys. Consider, pause,
Reflect on what they represent – loyal commitment – long years spent
In service of the Flag and Crown, beginning at the famed, renowned
Schools of Apprentices, now long gone – but in this place, they still live on!