A Name Upon This Wall

     As I said yesterday, my friend Bim,(Eileen) inspired this poem when she mentioned that she was going to go down to the Viet Nam Memorial in Washington, D.C. in November in honor of Veteran’s Day. She asked me if I had ever written anything about Viet Nam veterans. I had written some material about soldiers, sailors, and airmen,  (see “Thanks To Those Who Served” and “From Lexington To Babylon” as examples) but the mental picture of  “The Wall”  triggered my thought process, and the following is a result of that relatively easy effort.

     I truly hope you will read it and appreciate the respect that these men and women deserve. They went when and where their country asked them to go. Be it Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, all throughout Southeast Asia, they went, out of an ingrained sense of duty to their nation, and our way of life. Though it was not popular to do so, they listened to their heart and not to popular opinion. Right or wrong, like it or not, Viet Nam happened, and they served with honor and with pride, some did not ‘come marching home.’  Lost,  were a great number of brave young people to the war. 

     But, not only America, other nations* as well, had a whole generation reduced by great numbers during the “Viet Nam” years. Though this poem  is dedicated to those whose names are on that wall.  Let us remember all of those who made the supreme sacrifice. May God Rest Their Souls.

     For all of time there has been war, for all of time there have been warriors, and for all of time there have been those who were left to mourn.          

      In Memorium;

A Name Upon This Wall

Decades now have sailed,

upon the fleeting wings of time,

since you went away to war,

and heard your nation’s call.

But, the flight of time, will diminish not,

your sacrifice for us all.

No, you are more than just,

a name upon this wall.

You are a hero and a patriot,

and we, be debtors all.

For the gift you gave to us,

we see your name upon this wall.

But, we can’t witness, the living soul,

the youth, now forever stalled,

represented here, in polished stone,

by a name upon this wall.

We may know you only, by these letters etched,

on to this monument’s sprawl.

Still there is a kinship felt,

with the names upon this wall.

To our true and loyal comrades,

who have borne the funeral pall,

a grateful nation, remembers you,

By, your name upon this wall.

Jack Downing

U.S. Navy 1965-1972

Sept. 2011

God Bless our troops.

* I am aware that some of my readers are not from the United States, but I also suspect that war has touched many of us in one way or another during our lifetimes, so I am confident that we all, can reflect on the heroism and unselfishness of those who serve their country everywhere, everyday, in defense of freedom. 

Thank you all,



About poemsandponderings

Hearth and Health are wonderful things and if you're without either such sorrow that brings So I cannot express enough thanks to my Lord and to my family and friends for the support you afford! ~Jack Downing~
This entry was posted in Americana, blessings, blood and gore, children, command, demise, Earth and Us, Family, fleeting time, Freedom, Freedom's Flame, God, gun, heart and soul, history, husbands and wives, innocent deaths, land of the free, Liberty, Liberty, life, lifetime, Loss of a friend, Medal of Honor, men, military/veterans, mortal coil, mourning, old days, peace, pledge, political, pride, reception, Righ to Bear Arms, Right to remain silent, sailors, soul, spiritual, tears, thoughts, torment, tragedy, U.S. Government, Viet Nam Veterans, violence, war, women. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A Name Upon This Wall

  1. Made my first and only trip to DC in 1995. I left a pebble at the wall that I got the day before when visiting the Gettysburg battlefield.

  2. Beth Ann says:

    Haven’t made it to the wall yet but someday. Can not imagine the emotions. I was a wreck when they presented Chris will a flag at his dad’s memorial service and when they did the gun salute. Chills. As always a great post today. Thanks.

  3. Michael says:

    Indeed I may not have seen a “war” in my part of the world. But I have grown up seeing war in my neighboring countries and beyond that had affected me as well. It’s nice getting more acquainted with you, Jack.

    • Thanks Michael, we seem to have formed a “Mutual Admiration Society” of two. lol btw, Where are you from? I don’t remember reading of it on your blog,perhaps I just missed it. Or old age has chipped away another piece of memory… Oh, so fragile… ha ha ha. Jake.

  4. Michael says:

    Thanks Jack. I am from Malaysia. I reckon our age is not too far apart. Perhaps, you may be a few years older. It’s great to meet and get acquainted with you. Have a great weekend brother. !!!

    • Judging from your profile picture Michael, I would say you are right.Andreading my blog must have lead you to believe I am an old codger, true, oh so true.To paraphrasethe words of Van Morrissenfrom the song “Into the Mystic” ‘I was born before the wind!’ (1947) Ha ha. Young at heart though,,, for as long as I live, God willing. Ah, Malaysia, I sometimes play poker on line…For entertainment purposes only…And the ladies from Malaysiathat play, are stunningly beautiful, there must be something in the climate there… Thanks so much for your loyalty and your genuinely appreciatedcomments, and communication. Jake.

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