May 24, 2013

Memorial Day Poem

In recent years, my brother
John Carney, a Vietnam veteran,
has written a new poem for
Day.  Once again,
we have a poem
he has just
penned and
I'd like to share it.

 Memorial Day......and.....
                   John Carney - May 2013

Four or five years now
I've written poems for Memorial Day
Looking for the right words
To write thoughts I had to say 

This year those heartfelt thoughts
Are as clear as ever they were
But there is a nagging sense
Inside me that is also astir

Wars are fought by countries
organized against each other
soldiers go into battle
to kill and maim one another

But societies help to put them there
in so many ways they aid
Uniforms food and bullets
Is a small list of the effort that's made

Not all the people always agree
There are often those who dissent
Some are quite vocal about it
Their feelings they must vent

That is where I am this year
In regard to our undeclared war
No declaration has been made
No armies on a foreign shore

But thousands of our citizens
Die in battles not far away
We read and hear about them
On local news reports each day 

By ones and twos and often more
Americans die in some fight
Families are filled with sorrow
Tears fall on some lonely night

These are Americans, our own
Where is society's outrage
Who is this enemy army
What is this war that is waged 

Our leaders don't have an answer
And many of our fellows don't too
Most of us are usually indifferent
Unless it comes close to you  

It's an awfully sad state
It's like a war, and we all know  
Would we accept such cost
If it was caused by some foreign foe

I served my country in a war
and took my chance like the others
I take this time to pay respect
to my fallen brothers  

But this year I am also struck
by the tragedy that goes on
it isn't marked by any day
But thousands each year are gone.