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Yet Another Attempt At The Question Why


R.L. Walker

In this author’s humble opinion:

“Why” we were involved in Vietnam is not relevant to my poem. Why these 58,000 Valiant Warriors died in Vietnam is relevant to my poem. The reason will always remain crystal clear, whether at Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, Antietam, Verdun, Normandy, Salerno, Iwo Jima, Pusan, Chu Lai, Saigon, Kuwait, or anywhere else, at any time, in our Nation’s past, or future. These Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines were, and always will be, that caliber of men, and women, who have been willing to lay down their fortunes, their lives, and their sacred Honor, for this Great Nation. I dedicate this poem to those Honored Fallen, and to those fortunate enough to have “made it home without having had to pay … the Supreme Price.” (rlw)

Yes … and this year I, too, walked The Wall,

My legs carried me only through “Names” to my knees,

A cold, Winter, wind, adding to the chill of it all.

Ironic … this time of year … the trees ... absence of leaves.

Hundreds of my comrades-in-arms, weeping, leaning, shuffling along.

Some limping, some legless, some armless, no sight, all scarred, all Gallant, all Strong.

How symbolic … Lincoln … another Hero … who gave his all,

The “Great One” immortalized, not alongside, but With … these “Gallant Warriors” of … “The Wall.”

Overpowering feelings, a flooding of tears, yet … overtaking my eyes … The “Names” at my knees.

Another step, my legs were denied, carry me no further, I see now why, there are no leaves on the trees.

No voice to express it … no thoughts to appease, the sadness, the loss of such “Gallant Warrior’s,” these.

A soft, gentle voice finds its way through my thought, “These “Gallant Warriors” … “Why did they have
to die? Why was it they fought?”

So unanswerable … those questions … until today … after some 31 years in all,

These “Gallant Ones” … fought … and died … because … our Nation “called.”

No more … no less … “They” … “The Gallant Ones” … answered “The Call.”

What occurs to me now, after searching my Soul … having set to pen … with no more rages,

I see Lincoln … with “These Gallant Ones” … through this polished Wall … and so Our Nation …
“Commits them to the Ages.”

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