This Is A Place Of Remembrance
How much do people who have always had true liberty actually value it? I remember, years ago, standing at the window of my hotel room in Madrid watching a kid of about twelve or fourteen walking down the street. I could tell from his carriage more than by the cut of his clothing that he was an American.
He strode self-assuredly through the Spaniards around him proud people themselves as though he owned their streets. He had the arrogance of freedom, that innate confidence that comes from enjoying unfettered national liberty; he had never known anything else in his young life. Even though he was momentarily alone in a foreign country, he was an American, and special, and he knew it. But, I fear those days are history; Americans can no longer blithely stride along the worlds avenues, and this is leading to a domestic crisis.
There are so many of us who grew up with that special awareness of being free, of being Americans. We take our liberty for granted; so much so that we feel no special need to defend it from usurpation by fellow Americans. It is, after all, our right by birth as citizens of the United States. It has always been there for most of us.
We ingested liberty with our mothers milk and it is difficult for us to believe that other Americans - who seem to espouse our own beliefs - would, for their own selfish purposes, conspire to take it away from us. We do, after all, have Constitutional Guarantees. Our attention is focused sharply outward on foreign terrorists and not inward toward domestic duplicity.
This allows us to fall under the sway of alarmist, pseudo-patriotic rhetoric from politicians who were elected to office to protect our interests. Unfortunately, theyre more concerned with advancing the interests of the multi-national corporations that line their pockets than they are with safeguarding the rights of the electorate. America is slowly losing its liberty even as we common folk band together to defend it. Were unmindful that most of the people who lead us never before personally lifted a hand in defense of the freedoms of anyone outside their own circle.
I stand in baffled frustration as I watch the people head obediently off to figurative shearing sheds to have their liberties cropped, baaing contentedly like well-fed sheep under the deceitful direction of lupine shepherds and their sheepdogs. Even the ramsespecially the ramstrot along dutifully. Who is there to protect us from these modern-day wolves that have taken deception a step farther and now wear shepherds clothing? To protest is to be seen as seditious, which in itself is a diminution of liberty. My, my, what big teeth you have, dear Guardians of the Republic's Liberty!
© 5/12/2003 T. P. Woodfork
NAMES ON THE WALL (1999)
I SPENT HALF A DAY WITH YOU
I SPENT THE WORTH OF MY SOUL,
FOR THE FUTURE YOU NEVER KNEW.
I STAYED FOR HOURS,
TOUCHING THE PANELS OF MY TIME.
...BUT NOT BEFORE I SAID GOODBYE
TO ALL OF YOU.
I WALKED THE WHOLE WAR,
THE ENTIRE WALL,
PANEL BY PANEL.
DARK STONE AND FLASHES OF MEMORY.....!
CARVED WITH NAMES OF THOSE
WHO DIED IN THAT WAR.
ALL OF YOU........!
NAME BY NAME BY NAME...
.............ONE AND ALL.
UNTIL THE DAY ENDED WITHIN MYSELF
.....AND I CRIED
...ONE LAST TIME
FOR ALL OF YOU!
ALL OF YOU!
May 12 2003
Dusk to dusk and then some
Letting the memories beat you till you are numb,
Remembering the past.
How long will it last?
No one there to ease the fear
Maybe just someone to share your fears.
No one to lean on.
But every one that matters is gone.
Memories of those long gone away
Left dead as their color changed to gray
Brothers cut down in their prime
Those who gave their lives and were elevated to the sublime.
Those are the powerful memories of many from the past
Until maybe someday one war will be the last.
And those are the powerful memories that we are doomed to repeat
To remember only those dead is the height of conceit.
As many physically alive are mentally dead
And a million tears have they shed.
Not one day of peace have they found
But in the end God will adorn them with a golden crown.
As you pass along the city streets
A dirty old veterans lying in your way you per chance meet
Hurriedly chasing the almighty dollar
Maybe you can bend down and help; you will forever be taller.
God has a special for those left to live like this
Maybe you could spare just a moment to help him reminisce
Stop, help and spend just a little while.
And listen to his story, and just earn his smile.
No one seems to care
Or those that do are just too busy to share.
Now as many are getting on in years
Many have forgotten why they shed the tears.
Booze, drugs and anything that helps.
Sinking deeper and deeper into the slimy depths.
Anything to erase the pain and will last.
But nothing helps erase these powerful memories from the past.
©David R. Alexander
May 12, 2003
All Rights Reserved
Thoughts on this Memorial Day
IT IS NOT ABOUT HOLIDAY PICNICS
OR AUTO RACING
AND FAMILY FUN.
......OR A BBQ AT THE SETTING OF THE SUN.
IT IS ABOUT REMEMBERING YOUNG MEN WHO FELL
DYING AND IN AGONY
INTO THE ARMS OF A LOVING COUNTRY, WHILE SERVING
SO FAR AWAY
WIVES AND CHILDREN .....
AND OLD AGE
IT IS A SOLEMN DAY
FOR EACH OF US
IT IS A DAY OF SILENCE
AND A HAND SALUTE.
A DAY OF DEEP REMEMBRANCE.
may 13 2003
He said 'Goodbye'....Today!
He said goodbye today.....,
...and his old Brothers ,
like me, and 'joe' Willie ,and
...........and Jesse 'BlackIron ' from Hoboken, Georgia.
He wanted to be buried on the 'mid island', where 'Billy Bowlegs',
....but they don't honor old halfbreed veterans
Last time I saw him,
we were racing on the 'blackoil' track at Waycross.
Musta' been two years ago, i saw him last....,
it was like he said,
lost in the moments we call today."
Long ago he carried the 'lectric' Strawberry on his sleeve.
...in and around the 'Hobo'!
(a'Woods' in Nam.)
So I just sit here tellin ya'll bout a good man
known to some as
....,'jumpin'... Jack Black !
He had an Indian name...
but I'll just let that go
Just wanted to say
....in memory of a soldier,
this Memorial Day.
May 15 2003.