Friday, May 23, 2008

Memorial Day

The death toll continues to rise as our war against terror continues. This Memorial Day Weekend, I have been sitting here pondering the effects of this terrible atrocity. My thoughts are best summed up in verse.

Ode to the American Soldier
I join the front lines with no remorse.
I do this because I love my country.
I do this because I love my freedom.
I do this because it is my job.
I join the front lines with fear in my heart.
Did I tell my wife I love her enough?
Did I make a good impression on my son?
Will my children remember me after I am gone?
Will my death really make a difference?
I join the front lines with doubt in my mind.
Am I fighting for a noble cause?
Will I be justified for killing these men?
Will this blackness in my soul disappear?
I leave the front lines with no regret.
My last battle has now been fought.
I return home to a hero's welcome,
The flag draped carefully atop.

Even if you are not a supporter of this war, please pray for the men and women who are on the front lines. And remember those who have given their lives so that ours can go on in freedom.


Bomber said...

A beautiful poem, Cecile.
I am praying for all the of the United States' servicemen and women serving overseas in various theatres of war. I have nothing but the utmost admiration for what they do. Theirs is a thankless task and yet they continue to uphold and preserve what is decent and right about America.

Cecile said...

Thanks Mark.
You changed your name back? I liked Kookaburra. It added a bit of frivilocity to you.

I have a nephew (by marriage) that is overseas right now. He has been to Iraq three or four times in the past three years. He works with the K-9 unit, so they are always sniffing for bombs and such. His job is very dangerous. He chose this time to take an assignment in Turkey that would last for two years. By doing this, he won't have to go to Iraq. So my neice is very happy to actually have her husband back, and my great nephew is happy to still have a daddy.

Cecile said...

I must add, the whole family has moved to Turkey. And a funny side story to all of this. My great nephew, Christian, is 8. When they got to Turkey and settled in, he turned on the T.V. and the cartoons were all in German. He had this horrible look on his face when he asked his mom, "Do I have to watch cartoons for the next two years in German?" Poor little guy.

bindhiya said...

Dear Cece,
Nice poem...
My father and grandfather were in military... Grandpa was in freedom movement too...I have great respect for army.....
Have a great weekend.
love and ((hugs))

Mark said...

Hey Cecile,
My name changing is a reflection of how mixed up I am at present. At any time I could be any one of my personas.
Last week I watched a programme on SBS Television about a U.S. Army armoured personnel and tank patrol in Afghanistan - they were only kids, just barely out of their teens. There they are, just rolling doewn a road, and one of the vehicles is knocked out by a roadside bomb. Luckily no body was killed or injured . . .
It must be a relief to know that your nephews family is safe in Turkey.

Kookaburra said...

I will most likely sign my comments as "bomber" and Post as "Kookaburra"

Suzanne said...

Hi dear. What a beautiful, thoughtful post. Thank you. You made me think. We always hang our flag for a week on Veteran's Day, Memorial Day and the 4th of July. This morning I didn't feel well enough to hang it, but after reading your post went directly to the closet to get it. It's now blowing gently in a light breeze. It was hung late, 4:30ish, but I'm so happy I didn't wait until tomorrow.

I'm so glad your nephew is safe. My grandfather served in the Army as a medic in WWI. He went over a very happy-go-lucky young man and returned dealing with alcholism. My Grandmother told me "The war ruined a nearly perfect man." He died very young at age 55 of a heart attack. I was a young kid and didn't really understand why war would make "Pop" drink or sad. "Ma" said it was a question only he could answer but that they never discussed the war because he refused to talk about it. I told her I'd talk to him about it. She made me promise never to do that. One day I walked into his workshop. He was making skis for me an my sisters. Pop was a great skier and as a medic was stationed in Germany during his tours of duty. He would often have to go out on skis to rescue or parachute with skis into a rescue area. He learned to make skies while in German, so one year he made skies for us. When I was with him in his workshop I asked where he had learned to make skies. He replied Germany (That was my in! I was all of about 8, but very quick on the uptake!). I asked why he wouldn't talk to anyone about being in a war. He replied it was too hard. I asked if that was why he was sad sometimes and he said yes. I asked what made him sad and I remember his answer as clearly as if he spoke them yesterday, "Honey, some things are so painful to see they break your heart forever." I realized it was easier for him to talk to a child and so he had revealed the secret. I knew the answer but could never tell my grandmother because I'd made a promise never to ask him. My grandfather told me he loved me very much as I watched him sanding my skies that day. He ask me what color I'd like them. I said "Aqua!" I got aqua skies and when I went up on the hill near the house a few weeks later with my sister and their brightly colored skies. I was the first to go. The hill was very steep, I was too high, but he said I could do it and told me where he wanted me to start. I'd never been on skies, but he said "Relax and remember to turn your edges before you get to me and you'll go right down the driveway!" I did as he instructed by it was so icey it was hard to turn. He jump out of the way and I plowed directly into the house. God that hurt (it's when bindings didn't have quick release! They were still attached as I dug my skull out of the siding and my grandmother came screaming from the house because she thought I might be dead!). I never skied again. My sisters are all big skier, one was a cross-country racer and three nieces and two nephews are/were on ski team. My sisters still laugh at that. I'll admit, I would like to learn how to ski before I die, but I don't want it to hurt that much. Thanks Pop!

My grandfather was a terrific guy, just wounded by war, like so many. I still love him to death despite his flaws. I have so many happy memories of days with him. Thank you for this amazing post and for helping me remember. Not only him, but all who serve, dead or alive.

Love you,
We also have the par

Suzanne said...

Forgot to finish. We also still have one of his parachutes. They were made of silk. That's why woman during WWI had to give up wearing silk stockings. Isn't that amazing?

Suzanne said...

And I want to go on record. No, I have never supported this war. Never. My family knows that. That doesn't mean I don't respect and support the men and women who protect me. I think they're remarkable for their sacrifice. I couldn't do what they do. Unfortunately, I think so many young people are convinced they have no other options. They don't have a high school diploma, no college hopes, no job prospects, or some have college hopes, but no money and see the military as a way to get money for college, never expecting a war. That's how recruiting works. It makes me so sad, but they protect me, so it's a double edged sword. I don't pretend to know the answer Cece. All I know is I never supported this war and every week I watch the Sunday Morning shows and see the names of all the men and women who have fallen and my heart breaks for them and their families and my heart also breaks for all the Iraqis who have suffered and continued to suffer, for what? I try to imagine American and Iraqi families just like mine in agony, and I can't. Why, because I can't imagine the soul being ripped out of my life. I just can't. And for what? For what? Why would we bring pain and suffering to families just like ours? I know you understand as a mother, wife and animal lover, so know you understand my words even if you don't agree completely.

I love you my dear woman. You're the best. And thanks for your supportive email. Everything's going to be okay. It's hard to talk on the phone right now, but I'll call in the a week or so.

I love you. Thanks for making me think and voice my opinion. That's a Martha Stewart "Good Thing!"


Suzanne said...

Oh my God! WWII, not WWI. Lazy about typing, sorry.