Memorial Day: Remember Them

27 05 2018

Leavenworth, KS, National Cemetery

Memorial Day: It isn’t about the government. It’s not about a President, or a Party. It’s about “Them”; They who have preceded us, and inspire us to
measure up. To Them.

The endless rows of white stones and mausoleums command the heights of former battlefields and sprawl across the rolling course of green, under the cobalt space which beckons the occupants, and comforts those eyes who behold the wonder and contemplation of a grateful and humble people.

Those who fail to simply stand for a few minutes in the presence of self sacrifice, and listen, and feel, the proud and reverent spirit that hovers over and among these places of hallowed memorial, who never feel the moist fog rise up in the eye, will never know what it truly means to be an American.

I salute thee, Oh valiant Ones, who ‘saw the elephant’, felled the giants, charged into the Angle, bled on the Poppy Fields, drowned in the icey Seas, scaled the jagged Cliffs under enfilade fire, and plunged into darkness unknown.

Never shall I forget Ye who sweated and bled in the Jungles, choked in the Desert Sands, froze in the Chosin, watched as Saigon fell behind you, served your shipmates in death rites, and were felled by the sniper’s round at Fallujah.

Nor will I ever forget you, who survived the battle, carried those scenes your entire life, sharing only a few, and finally found rest after a lifetime of continued service to your country and those around you.

This I promise.

Never Forget. Them.

Advertisements




Dedicated to Those Who Gave All

30 05 2011

I wrote this poem many years ago after taking my family to visit the portable version of the Vietnam Memorial Wall which was visiting our town. It is called the “Moving Wall” because it is portable. However, it was emotionally one of the most ‘moving’ experiences of my life. Even though these verses were inspired by those valiant Americans whose names are engraved on that black wall, it is nonetheless a tribute to each and every person who has ever died in the service of our country. When this was written, my son whom I mentioned was about 6. He is now a 25 year old United States Marine Corps Reserve, and an Afghan vet.   He is my hero.

The Wall

I saw your name the other day
While reading the local news.
It said you played a good ball game,
Your last year, and you’ve paid your dues.

I saw your name then sometime later,
Graduation day had come.
You walked up proud and took the scroll
That your hard work had won.

I saw your name in another season
And smiled to myself as I read
Of a young married couple just starting out
With a promise and dreams ahead.

I saw your name a few months later
But this time it worried me.
Your name, and others, on a long list
Training for war overseas.

I saw your name and uttered a prayer
For you and your young family.
I knew of your character and duty-bound love
For country, for God, and for me.

I saw your name and thought of your father
Who fought in another time.
And he, just like you, hated to leave
His wife, and new son behind.

I saw your name just yesterday
And my heart broke as mist filled my eyes.
You were killed with some buddies while out on patrol
Where many a good young man dies.


I saw your name again just today
And all of your comrades’ as well,
Where flags fly high and monuments stand
With more stories than words can tell.

I saw your name on a glossy black wall
And as my throat became tight,
My chest swelled slightly with pride for a man
Who thought freedom was well worth the fight.

I saw your name in the deep black reflection
of the face of my dearest young son,
And prayed he would never be called on to go,
But would cherish the liberty won.

I saw your name and wondered just how
I might thank your family,
For sacrifice made for people unknown,
As well as my family, and me.

I saw your name and thought that perhaps
Despite lack of glory and fame,
It may be enough to think of you now,
And tell them that I saw your name.

Copyright (All rights Reserved)








%d bloggers like this: