On Veteran's Day (a poem)

Across the grassy plain of Valley Forge

            A field mouse scampers

Unmindful that below its tiny form,

            The blood of patriot men still lingers . . .


The grassy slopes of Gettysburg are quiet, too.

No battle cry to rend the silence ...

            No sounds of fury, pain or sorrow.

                        Only the shadowed silence of history.


At Pearl Harbor, the waters lap softly

            Lest they disturb those who still sleep below.


Inchon ... Pyongyang ...

numbered hills and parallels ... and graves forever nameless...


Hué ... Khe Sanh ...

victories without triumph ... war without conclusion. 


In silent dignity, the long, black wall stretches to the end of our conscience.


Bearing the names ...

                        Thousands of names...

                                    Etched in timeless stone and painful memory.


Today, we honor those who lie in warrior graves

     and give to them this simple measure of reverence deserved.

Across the grassy plain of Valley Forge

            A field mouse scampers

Unmindful that below its tiny form,

            The blood of patriot men still lingers . . .


The grassy slopes of Gettysburg are quiet, too.

No battle cry to rend the silence ...

            No sounds of fury, pain or sorrow.

                        Only the shadowed silence of history.


At Pearl Harbor, the waters lap softly

            Lest they disturb those who still sleep below.


Inchon ... Pyongyang ...

numbered hills and parallels ... and graves forever nameless...


Hué ... Khe Sanh ...

victories without triumph ... war without conclusion. 


In silent dignity, the long, black wall stretches to the end of our conscience.


Bearing the names ...

                        Thousands of names...

                                    Etched in timeless stone and painful memory.


Today, we honor those who lie in warrior graves

     and give to them this simple measure of reverence deserved.