We celebrate Memorial Day in honor of blood spilled.
And we stand silently by and watch those coffins, filled
with the bodies of dead soldiers who once knew joy
but then lined up as though they were a tin soldier toy.
We take this day to solemnly give thanks and praise
to those who willingly reduced on this earth, their numbered days.
What a wonder it is to be alive and to show our gratitude
while those who served this country lie in glorious solitude.
As we head to the store to buy flags made in Vietnam
to bestow upon the grave of the sacrificial lamb,
we honor the memory of every unknown soldier
by giving him a neighbor to lie beside him, shoulder to shoulder.
Why should we cease to inscribe names on yet another wall,
since it is so easy to produce another soldier to heed war’s call?
No, we must never truly show our gratitude for our war weary dead,
and to those whose body lives while their mind died instead.
So, eat your hotdogs and your apple pie and wave your flag
while another soldier is soon to be placed in a body bag.
Shelby I. Courtland
©2017 Shelby I. Courtland
And here we go again! Taking a day to honor our war dead while still at war and so what have we learned? Not a goddamn thing! Monday, Trump’s depraved ass will solemnly place a wreath at the tomb of ‘The Unknown’ soldier; ‘The Unknowns’. And just which soldier did he know? What soldier did Obama or Bush know, either Bush, for that matter? Trump, after having just recently dropped the Mother Of All Bombs on Afghanistan and declared that more soldiers are necessary to fight some bogeymen that the U.S. trained and/or caused to be unleashed on the Middle East by way of the CIA will ‘borrow’ some dignity from somewhere just long enough to get through the hypocritical ceremony of the placing of the wreath. And then, it’s off to golfing and ordering some Big Macs.
Oh, how we really mean it when we “Thank a service man/woman for their service to this country” while we continue to add to their numbers because hardly any of us know a soldier who got him/herself killed in the line of ‘duty’ because it has always been some poor schmuck who was too dumb to understand that he’s still poor after having signed his life away and for what? Not a goddamn thing! Food stamps, a gun, a backpack and a flag to drape over his coffin. Yeah! Now, go eat your hot dog! Celebrate!