Vietnam, speaking of unpopular, was a travesty. The way the we, (the government) waged the war was a travesty, the way it was covered on the nightly news was a travesty, the way the public and the so-called celebrities supported the enemy was a travesty of monumental proportions, and the way the brave and devoted men and women who were sent there were treated, was the biggest travesty of all.
Every soldier and sailor, marine and airman who went before them into batlle under the flag came home to a hero’s welcome. Not the Vietnam vets. No, they came home to hostility and degradation. It has taken decades for the citizens of this country to realize that they were, as were their forefathers, bound by honor and duty, to the principles of the United States. Even if those principles were not being practiced by those who sent them to fight ‘their’ dirty war.
The Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. is but a humble tribute to those who gave, ‘the last full measure of devotion’ as was so eloquently expressed by President Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address. This poem is for those who are remembered on that marble wall..
Thanks to them and to all who cared enough about this nation, to go into harm’s way so that the rest of us still have the right to “free speech” among so many others.
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 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.
U.S. Navy, 1965-72
God Bless Our Troops.
Copyright© Jack Downing, aka Jake @poemsandponderings.wordpress.com. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or disseminated in any manner without the expressed written consent of the author. JRD 5/25/12