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To all the veterans, sung and unsung, who've made it possible for us, as a people, to have the freedom to publicly argue differing points of view both here and elsewhere without fear, without recrimination, without censure.
May your sacrifice and the sacrifices of your families never be forgotten.
In Flanders Fields
Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Here Dead We Lie
Alfred Edward Housman
Here dead we lie
Because we did not choose
To live and shame the land
From which we sprung.
Life, to be sure,
Is nothing much to lose,
But young men think it is,
And we were young.
Arlington National Cemetery
A lone house-key, a melting Twix,
two Miller Lites, a crucifix.
A fifth of rum, a pack of Kools,
report cards from far distant schools.
Four hard-backed books, a tear-stained poem,
a cell phone programmed to call home.
Three dozen letters never read,
a pillow from a double bed.
A Barbie doll, three Lego cars,
Nine lightening bugs in Mason Jars.
Six polished stones, a strand of beads,
a planter filled with apple seeds.
Two coffee cups that catch the rain,
three Red Sox caps, a plastic train.
Eight birthday cards, a catcher's mitt,
a sweater someone's mother knit.
A thousand pictures creased and torn.
One wedding veil that won't be worn.
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As I live amongst older folks, I spend a lot of time with WW II Vets, the more time I spend with them and listen to their stories makes me realize that PDSTD did not just strart in the 60's and has been around forever.
Like any war, the guys who did not do the grunt work have a much different perspective than those on the front lines..
Unfortunately this generation never got the service they needed to deal with what they were involved with and what they saw.. my neighbor, to whom I was very close, died recently at age 92... he would talk about the good times and every once in a while would touch on the bad. Two things that always came out was the Battle or Huertgen Forest and how they had to pile up dead frozen GI's in the middle of this battle. Secondly was the liberation of the death camps, and then having to wait on the outskirts of Berlin while Russia entered that city and got their revenge first.
I love their stories and appreciate their stories.. better than a history book.