August 13, 2000 I visited the traveling war memorial for Vietnam. I was so touched that when I returned to my car I wrote the following poem. Today, remembrance/memorial day I post this to commemorate my thoughts and feelings of war.
Today I went and visited the moving wall
where the names of the Vietnam Vets are displayed.
As I walked along past the names of people
I never knew, tears fell down my face.
So many young, vibrant men, with a few
I'm sure who where old.
What a waste, I thought, what a waste.
I pondered as I slowly walked along
looking at the mementos left on the ground
with the tears still streaming down.
War - what for - so many over the
centuries dying, young and vibrant
for causes long forgotten or never
Is there not another way.
The Wall, a signal to all, of the numbers it
takes from us all.
I also thought as I walked down past the names
with my tears falling down from my eyes
of the statistics -
this is only the ones that fell
in the land called Vietnam
But what it is reported two or three times more
have died since
from wounds that never healed
from their own inner torment
and lack of acceptance
I could not help notice as I walked
by the wall with my tears streaming
down my face how many men
were struggling too --
as they searched for the name they were looking for -
as they tentatively reach out and touched it -
bowed head - a breath -
I could not help notice that many were like me
realising the magnitude of the loss in this war so far away
I could not help think is there not a better way
A different way to resolve these differences that
arise rather than send our youth to be slaughtered
and we left bereft of them
I believe there is another way and I for one
right now declare I will do my best to see its done
I will live to my fullest potential
because they can't.
I will ensure My World is left better than when I came.
I came, I saw the moving wall - 1/2 the actual size of the real one
and I say - No More!!!!
As the tears fell down my face as I walked along.
PS. A few years later I did visit the Wall in Washington D.C. but I did not have the emotional response that I had that day in a hayfield walking along the 'travelling wall' hearing the names being read out one by one.
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