| War is a contagion,
whether it be declared or
undeclared. It can engulf states and
peoples remote from the original scene of hostilities.
|Franklin Delano Roosevelt,
October 5, 1937
|If you are able, save for them a place inside of you and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the place they can no longer go.
Be not ashamed to say you loved them, though you may or may not have always.
Take what they have left and what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own.
And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind.
Major M. D. O'Donnell
1 - January 1970
Dak To, Vietnam
|"They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We shall remember them
Lest We Forget"
|From Poems for the Fallen -
Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)
|SUCH GOOD MEN
I now know why men who have been to war yearn to reunite. Not to tell stories or look at
old pictures. Not to laugh or weep. Comrades gather because they long to be with the men
who once acted their best, men who suffered and sacrificed, who were stripped raw, right
down to their humanity. I did not pick these men. They were delivered by fate and the U.S.
Marine Corps. But I know them in a way I know no other men. I have never given anyone
such trust. They were willing to guard something more precious than my life. They would
have carried my reputation, the memory of me. It was part of the bargain we all made, the
reason we were so willing to die for one another.
I cannot say where we are headed. Ours are not perfect friendships; those are the province
of legend and myth.
A few of my comrades drift far from me now, sending back only occasional word. I know
that one day even these could fall to silence. Some of the men will stay close, a couple,
perhaps, always at hand.
As long as I have memory, I will think of them all, every day. I am sure that when I leave
this world, my last thought will be of my family and my comrades.....such good men.
from "These Good Men" by Michael Norman