Reconnaissant Pour L’Esprit de Corps

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Randal A Burd, Jr
A special education case manager looks back fondly on his years in band as an important activity that taught leadership, teamwork, musicianship, and more.

I still recall those days of marching bands
when bonded by a fierce esprit de corps
we stepped in time and played into the stands;
not holding back, we left them wanting more.
They came to see each small town halftime show
what seems to me a lifetime long ago.

What seems to me a lifetime long ago,
we’d test our skills against the other bands.
Our heads held high with such esprit de corps,
we’d send our melodies into the stands.
No marching band has ever given more
than ours when we performed our polished show.

When we performed our polished marching show
so many times, so many years ago,
we held our own among the many bands
and rode the high of our esprit de corps.
Combined with all the cheering from the stands,
that feeling always left us wanting more.

That feeling always left us wanting more,
returning to us during every show,
but that was such a long, long time ago,
back in those days of school and marching bands
when teamwork brought us great esprit de corps,
rewarding us with cheering from the stands.

And now there’s no more cheering from the stands.
We all moved on in search of something more.
Some hoped we’d have a little more to show
for lives which started all those years ago
when days were filled with school and marching bands
and we were filled with much esprit de corps.

Now others share the same esprit de corps
and march in time and play into the stands.
We never see each other anymore.
Reunions pass, but many never show,
though bound together briefly long ago
by lessons learned in school and marching bands.

Esprit de corps is why in marching bands,
we’d stand up straight, chins up, for every show
and leave them wanting more those years ago.

About the Author

Randal A. Burd, Jr. is an educator and special education case manager on the site of a residential treatment facility for juveniles in southeast Missouri. He was the baritone section leader of the Salem (Missouri) High School Marching Blue and marched from 1993 to 1997. Randal also played euphonium for the 135th Army Band in Springfield, Missouri, as a National Guardsman from 1996 to 2000.

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