By: Jay Wright – Foothills Writers Guild
Veteran’s Day is for honoring and thanking living veterans for their contribution to our national security and many freedoms. However, Memorial Day is a somber day to honor and mourn those who died in or as the result of battle. A day to place flowers or flags on military graves; to pause for prayer or a moment of silence for those who gave all.
I had the privilege of serving in the Naval Air Force in Florida and in Sicily during the Vietnam Era. I met patriots from every branch of service who’d served in submarines, helicopters, foxholes, carriers, fighter aircraft, chow halls, troop transport, equipment maintenance, intel operations, etc. I listened to big, bad soldiers weep openly about the loss of a buddy from enemy fire, equipment explosion, or torture as a P.O.W. In spite of the beers and tears, PTSD is a reality for many today.
This Memorial Day thank living vets but take pause to honor those who gave all.
Honor and Mourn
In every land vets have stood watch
to keep our homeland safe, topnotch.
Some days mundane, some days insane
in desert suns, in pouring rains.
Fought musket-to-musket with bayonets.
They met in fields to defeat the threats.
Faced snow and frostbite under Washington.
They destroyed Al-Qaeda in Desert Storm.
They hit beaches running, watched buddies fall,
but kept storming past those who gave all.
They crawled through mud and slept on rocks,
surrounded by snipers and jungle rot.
They flew the choppers, dropped the bombs,
worked flight decks and medic tents in “Nam.”
Lived in bunkers, foxholes, whatever required,
then carried out missions, no matter how tired.
This Memorial Day, take a moment to pause
to honor and mourn heroes who gave all.