The following poem was written exclusively for the Cattaraugus County Memorial and Historical Building:
Brave Men with Tears
They have been silent now for many years,
Without talking or moving, but not without tears.
They are, on their next step of life’s sure game,
But residents of Cattaraugus County just the same.
Some have their name and rank carved in granite,
But others we know not where they may be present.
They are the many brave men, aged 18 to 44,
Who left family and all to go fight in the Civil War.
As patriots true and bold, they never received any gold,
But just some hardtack and hardship we are told.
Men they became within three years,
Those that made it home to see their peers.
For Cattaraugus County to remember them all,
They dreamed of a memorial that would never fall.
They wanted it fire-proof of brick and plaster,
In order to prevent a wood caused disaster.
A whole building with a museum it would be,
With artifacts and names of the men for all to see.
With a glass dome to light up heaven from the sky,
And see the stars at night, one for each man that had died.
It was in 1914 when they dedicated their dream,
A memorial that forever was supposed to gleam.
So why, then, the tears after one-hundred years?
Because we see our memorial bringing up the rear.
But all fruit eventually withers on the vine,
And even ivory piano keys yellow with time.
But when you cease to exist, you can no longer teach,
And our important history lesson will be out of reach.
Thus, to all, it should be quite clear,
It is their dream that we should hold very dear.
So once again let the marching bands sound aloud,
When all residents in the village felt so proud,
To welcome home our Billy Yanks who fought so hard,
For us to feel safe in our own backyard.
So is it not our duty to remember the favor,
Done for us by these fine soldiers and sailors?
Written by and posted courtesy of Clark Louis Casler, January 2015
Mr. Casler is a descendent of two Civil War veterans from the 154th New York Volunteer Infantry who are buried in the Randolph Cemetery located in Randolph, N.Y. As a professor of biology, writer and researcher, he has spent the majority of his life in Venezuela. He now resides in Jamestown, N.Y. where he grew up