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They Are All Heroes To ME.

Updated on October 5, 2009

 They are all heroes to me.


They are all heroes to me,
row upon row of battalions
laid out in horizontal formations,
dressed in fine wools
and bedecked with ribbons.

Here where their youth
moulders into rot,
underneath occasional
flags and flowers,
and endless crosses of white,
where they were crucified,
for some glorious cause,
long forgotten.

There are no explosions,
or bullet's whines
inside these gray metal coffins
where the only sound heard
is the tumble of the bones,
crumbling to dust.

The unknown dead

are the saddest,
no names mark their final
real estate on this planet,
a resting place to tuck them away,
as twenty-one shots are fired
in tribute to their passing.

Do they quiver or tremble
at those final blasts
when their spirits
hover over the grave.

Over 4,000 currently reduced
to hamburger as blind leaders
secure a foothold for oil,
in the Middle East,
will we remember them
when we pump carbon fuels
into our tanks
that do not kill
but simply transport us
to places they will never go.

Can you name even one who died,
picture his or her face,
shed a tear for their loss,
if so then you are a patriot.

I know of many
who took my place,
when the bullets went astray
bullets that held my name,
then changed their mind,
in a time not that long ago for me
but forever for them.

I broke the aluminum bracelet
of Major William H.Condit
that I had worn for many years,
as a reminder of his status
as a POW-MIA from Vietnam.

Shot down in the 60's
held prisoner for.....
God knows how long,
died in captivity,
and his bones were returned
sometime around 1997.
hope in shattered
shiny red pieces
adorned his grave that day,

And of another,
who recently died,
riddled with cancers,
he spoke of dreams to me once,
in colors that were magnificent,
but agent orange rusted them away.

He was a poet, unpublished,
because no cared
for his poems of war,
I hold some here,
haunting words
of another time,
another futile war,
that ground up 58,000 men,
before troops were withdrawn,
and chaos ensued.

History is a repeating echo,
that whispers softly through
the trees at Arlington,
and falls on deaf ears,
in the halls of the capital,
and in the hearts of
our commanders-in-grief.

Pray for peace,
and remember the fallen,
for they remembered you
when they breathed their last,
some clutched the flags
that you cross your hearts for,
before sucking down beer,
and chili dogs at
the baseball and football fields.

They took the flaming
shrapnel of death
in your place,
how often have you visited
their place,
where the quiet is so loud,
that you can actually
hear the whispers
of what could have been
rustling restlessly
in the well groomed grass.

It emanates daily
from the depths
of our nations
expendable losses
spent in lost causes,
even now as I write this poem.


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    • jandee profile image

      jandee 7 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

      Hello,enjoyed and also thought of the dreaded and utter waste of young lives. best from jandee

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      I will never forget our fallen soldiers we have a lineage of military in our family. You have not forgotten them either. On my profile is a poem that I wrote about our soldiers when we lived in Redondo Beach. Pen in hand I remember what I felt watching our retired and active military march down the streets , yes I remembered the stories my father told of his friends he lost in WWII, the stories my Uncle told about the Vietnam war and the stories I hear even know as my young nephew , father of 3 is fighting for our Country. What a beautiful tribute , you certainly have a beautiful heart. :)