Poetry

Of Monuments and Memories of Our Patriots

By 12th April 2009December 9th, 2019No Comments

How many names will be written on the granite panels?
My father’s comrade, who fell beside him, is written there.
Marching with my father in Nashville’s Veteran’s Day Parade
Almost never born, walking in Sgt Keith Patterson’s place;
Supporters waved and cheered for glory I did not deserve,
I wept for his partner in Vietnam, who was for us there.

How many names will be written on the granite panels?
Before it’s known that inches of names carved in stone
Do not complete what any fallen soldier could have achieved?
Lives given in bombings and ambushes won’t comfort the grieved,
We know insurance money for in theater losses
Doesn’t replace volunteering hearts beneath grave’s white crosses.

How many names will be written on the granite panels?
Most home towns have stone lists of brothers and sisters now missed:
Is it our job to play planet police with those we have kissed?
We all make attempts to create a better planet,
As flags flutter at half mast and names are added in granite.

How many names will be written on the granite panels?
Some Generals and a few stellar soldiers have monuments,
The rest who died, it’s posthumous awards, and gravestone’s names.
Do you always notice when our great flag flutters at half mast?
Do you always pay homage to sacrifice at revelry?
Do you pray, or daily wish the best for those in combat?
Or are you in this toned down World War III for the paycheck?

How many names will be written on the granite panels?
Known to me from his proud uniformed portrait, Thank You, Sir,
Father, Minister, Captain when a heart attack took his life,
Grandfather Guillermin received The Distinguished Flying Cross,
He served from 1942 until 1965.
Grandaddy Moore, corporal, husband, enlisted in World War I,
Parachuted into France, ‘til Armistice was signed.
How many names will be written on the granite panels?
Daddy was a Cavalry Sgt on the DMZ,
Received The Bronze Star, Purple Heart, now he uses hearing aids,
Chaplain for the 101st Airborne in 1986,
I am thankful everyday that he is still with us,
Two feet from him was where Sgt Keith Patterson was hit.
How many names will be written on the granite panels?

No more names on the granite panels!
We have all chosen to preserve lives!
Grasp the time of your fullest potentials!
Take hold of the moments of sacrifice!
Serve with true honor and never give up!
Our country depends on each one of us!
And for those who have served their best years
Please, accept our gratitude, most sincere.

John G

Author John G

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