Monday, May 25, 2009

A Memorial Day Poem

I ran across this poem recently, it is credited to a Jimmy Fortune and John Rimel. Although I have heard of neither, these words gave me some cause to think:

Name On The Wall

by Jimmy Fortune and John Rimel

I saw her from a distance
as she walked up to the wall
She laid a wreath of flowers,
then her tears began to fall

She took out pen and paper,
as to trace her memories
She looked up to the heavens,
and the words she said were these:

"Lord, my boy was special,
and he meant so much to me
And though I'd love to have him,
just one more time to see

All I have are memories,
and monuments recall
So Lord, let me know he's not
just a name upon a wall"

"He's really missed by family,
being home on Christmas day
He died for God and Country,
in a place so far away

I remember just a little boy,
playing war when he was three
But this time it's for real.
He wont be coming home to me"

"You know my boy was special,
and he meant so much to me
And though I'd love to have him here,
I know that this can't be

So thank you for the memories,
and the moments I recall
And please just tell him
he is more than a name upon a wall"

On Memorial Day, we take time to remember those who sacrificed their lives that we may live free. But in our holiday events and ceremonies, all too often we look past those people whom the brave men and women left on this earth.

This year, maybe we can take the time to thank one of their loved ones who remain with us. Each man and woman, whose name appears on a monument or wall, had a life somewhere. In the giving of their lives, they left someone they loved dearly and in turn, loved them.

Have a happy and safe Memorial Day.


Anonymous said...

This is so true, LA. The worst and most stressful duty ever assigned to me was making notification of KIA and the subsequent funeral ceremony. The next of kin despises you immediately as they see the official car pull up in front; it goes downhill from that point on. A few days later, after the funeral, the bereaved make a sort of metamorphosis where they appreciate all you did for them. We could never do enough; we could not give them back their loved one.

This acknowledgement is appropriate and not done often enough. Left behind with shattered memories are parents, wives, siblings, and children; they suffer mightily for the rest of their lives. The price of freedom is high, indeed … and painful.

Semper Fi

Jungle Mom said...

This brought a tear to my eye. I am ever so grateful to those who fought and for those who were left alone because of their sacrifice. Thanks LA!

Anonymous said...

The Swofford family visit to the Wall was a somber time. To see the thousands of names etched on the wall, and to realize that attached to each name, were dozens of family members left behind was highly emotional for me.

LCDR Tammy Swofford, USNR, NC

HoosierArmyMom said...

For every life, too soon ended, there are those left to grieve. Indeed, the price of freedom is high, but the legacy is worth more than gold. Thanks to all who take the oath to preserve and defend freedom for future generations and those who support and love them.

Greg said...

I want to say thanks to LA, Mustang and the others on this blog who have served.

LASunsett said...

//We could never do enough; we could not give them back their loved one.//

Such as you COULD do, you did. When all was said and done, I am sure most of them appreciated what little you could do.

LASunsett said...

//Thanks LA!//

You are quite welcome, JM.

LASunsett said...

Tammy, thanks for sharing that with us. To those who never lost anyone, the wall is just a list of names. To those who did, it is a lasting tribute to those who paid the price, with their lives.

LASunsett said...

//Indeed, the price of freedom is high, but the legacy is worth more than gold.//

If only gold would purchase it. It would be much more preferable than sending young men and women into harm's way.

But alas, it is not so. It makes no difference to hate-filled beings who love nothing more than to make others suffer.

LASunsett said...

//I want to say thanks to LA, Mustang and the others on this blog who have served.//

Speaking personally, it was an honor and a pleasure to give back to this country, which has given me so much.

Leslie said...

Nice post LA! And thank you for your service!


Always On Watch said...

At our local VFW's gathering this evening, I told them about all the many tributes on the web for this Memorial Day. Some of these vets never use the computer and were surprised that so many understand the significance of this day.

Around 6:00, we gathered around the flag outside the VFW post to honor a young soldier who perished at age 21 in Vietnam. His family donated the flag and the special marker. The young man is not just a name on a wall; he is remembered every single year at the local VFW post.

We also prayed for those in our nation's service now.

And the cars just zoomed by -- with no acknowledgment of what our little group was doing. Did they see and not understand? I wonder.

Always On Watch said...

I found Mustang's comment here sobering and moving.

Chuck said...

The Statler Brothers made this into a song, I posted the video here

It is one of my favorite songs and a fitting poem for Memorial Day. While I am not trivializing the poem, they made into a very stirring song. The video that someone put together for the song was great.

LASunsett said...

Thank you Leslie.

LASunsett said...

//Did they see and not understand? I wonder.//

Probably not. More than likely the cars were people who had to get home from their day's activities. Today, we all have to get back to our real world.

LASunsett said...


Your video has been removed, but I found it on You Tube. Thanks for sharing it. I am not much of a country fan, so I had never heard it.