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Veteran's Day Remembered

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I watched the flag pass by one day, it flutered in the breeze,
A young man in uniform saluted it, and then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform- so young ,so tall, so proud,
With hair cut square and eyes alert, he'd stand out in a crowd.
I thought how many men like him have fallen thru the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soliers graves?
No freedom is not free.
I heard the sound of Taps one night, when everything was still.
I listened to the bugler play and felt a sudden chill.
I wondered how many times the taps had meant "Amen'
When a flag had draped a coffin of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children, of mothers and of wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands, with interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard at the bottom of the sea,
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No freedom isn't free.

It is the soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us the freedom of the press.'It is the soldier not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag, and whos coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

post #2 of 5
But we also need to remember that the freedom they fought and died for is for everyone. We need to respect others whose views are somewhat at odds with ours. No..I don't mean the terrorists. However we need to let other peoples make their own decisions and not try to impose our "soloutions".

Then maybe our children will not have to shed their blood again.
post #3 of 5
I'm so proud of my boyfriend and the years he has served his country. It's a sacrifice that he has made selflessly.
post #4 of 5
Thank you for starting this thread. As a veteran of military service myself, having served in the Republic of Viet Nam during the period 1968-69, I appreciate your thoughtfulness. Here is a poem which I wish to contribute, prefaced by a brief description of its author.

Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)

Wilfred Edward Salter Owen was born on March 18, 1893. He was on the Continent teaching until he visited a hospital for the wounded and then decided, in September, 1915, to return to England and enlist. "I came out in order to help these boys — directly by leading them as well as an officer can; indirectly, by watching their sufferings that I may speak of them as well as a pleader can. I have done the first." (October, 1918).

Owen was injured in March 1917 and sent home; he was fit for duty in August, 1918, and returned to the front. November 4, just seven days before the Armistice, he was caught in a German machine gun attack and killed. He was twenty-five when he died.

The bells were ringing on November 11, 1918, in Shrewsbury to celebrate the Armistice when the doorbell rang at his parent's home, bringing them the telegram telling them their son was dead.

Dulce Et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys! — An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime. —
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, —
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori

[Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori: It is sweet and proper to die for one's country.]

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
How sad. My grandfather fought in the Spanish American War and was injured. It was so much worse in those times as far as recovering from wounds. My brother was in Vietnam during the same time you were in there. He, however, was in the Navy and didn't come into hand to hand combat. He did encounter shelling of his ship and once going into DaNang on a helicopter was caught in a cross fire. Thankfully he made it home.

That is a sad poem and tells us so much what our fore fathers went through.
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