May 27, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

For the past several years, on Memorial Day or Veterans Day I've posted poems by my brother John Carney who is a Vietnam vet.  John writes poems in tribute to the lives of those who serve their country.  This poem is a new one for Memorial Day 2011.

Many have given their lives,
Because they were called to war,
Often lonely and afraid,
On some distant foreign shore.

We tend to recall the names,
Of big battles that were waged,
Such dubious distinction,
Where horror and conflict raged.

But many comrades too,
Were lost along the way.
A little known town or hamlet,
In some empty field they lay.

Who has heard of Samawah.
Outpost Harry, or Ong Thanh,
Kesternich, Wanat,
Or maybe Ap Tinh Anh?  

Some fell from the air or were lost,
Manning posts on a ship.
Some were just driving trucks 
On a simple supply trip. 

Others were struck down by fever,
Or run over by a tank or jeep.
There's a lot of different reasons,
For how they met their sleep.

Not knowing what the price would be,
Or the cost they'd have to pay,
They packed their bags and kissed goodbye,
And we sent them on their way.
So on this day of remembrance,
It's not how or where they fell,
Not about huge battles,
Or valiant tales to tell,
Nor any kind of discussion,
Of the reason they were sent.
We honor them in thought or prayer,
For the simple fact they went.

                                                  John Carney - 2011