“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

11.10.2009

It Was Just the Thing You Did When You Believed in Freedom

My uncle kept WWII in his heart until the day he died.

He didn't talk about it unless prodded,
and even then not much;
he'd saved the lives of several men he served with -
just the thing you did, you know,
this is America, after all, he would tell you,
worth every misery in every foxhole.
Freedom.
Like they say, not free.
There were medals and silence.

He died years ago,
fighting cancer from a private foxhole and losing.
The morphine took him back to war
and his silence was loosened,
his fears returned;
when my mother visited him in the nursing home,
she once found him in a supply closet
down the hall from his room.
Waiting for the enemy.
Ssshhh, he told her, they will hear.

Yes.
They will.
So let them hear our courage,
our belief in freedom,
our footsteps on the road.
Walking with conviction.
Walking with knowledge.
Walking with the ghosts of those who have given all.

Thank you.
Thank you all.

11 comments:

  1. No, dont thank, me... We thank him and you for this post......

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  2. What a beautiful tribute to the most overlooked heroes... my father also served in WWll, and I'm sure he's toasting your uncle now...

    :-)

    (((hugs))),
    love,
    me

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  3. freedom and liberty
    thank you for sharing this tender story~

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  4. Beautifully written...but then...all you touch turn into beauty...

    heroes...absolutely...how lucky we are xx

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  5. and we remember him, with thanks and gratitude.
    xo

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  6. I am always in awe of those that have the courage and conviction to fight for our country for for total strangers.

    Here's a great story at this link:

    http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AaWYuIUuiYxPZGhyc2t2OG1fMTAxZGdxM2t0Mng&hl=en

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  7. unbelievably powerful. My grandparents never talked about their lives, and it is only in the last two years (after my grandfather's death, and with my grandmother not far from it now) that I have learned that my grandfather was drafted only two months after they got married. There is so much of my family history that has been lost with him, and so much more I want to know.

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  8. beautiful straight from your heart! thanks for sharing this loving story/poem!

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  9. oh.....thank you

    thank you dear heart.

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  10. My grandfather died a few years ago. We were very close. He would tell stories of his youth, of his experiences in the war...sometimes he would tell them over and over again, not realising that he had already told you that story several times before. But I loved it. I loved every story, no matter how many times he told them. And it makes me miss him so much...there are so many things I wish I had asked him, but I am grateful to have been given a glimpse into his life. Over and over.

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