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Airborne Assault Marines at Masher

Battles Then and now
by Gary Jacobson © 2002

Liberty Bell
Here I lie wrapped in folds of battleís grim fate
Still at times mid greening jungles irate
Elephant grass filled with consummate hate
Monsoon mist blanketing my world gray as slate
Far and away from homelandís shore
Riding a bestial ogre called war
A year hearing gunfire's dismal roar
Again eyes burning
Again guts churning
Fighting men, brothers, all around me dying...

Glad to see every morningís sun
My best friend, my companion, my gun
Held ever by my side in battles fought and won
Keeping company in night's darkness deep
From a grave below verdant soil keep
Where for eternity brave men fitfully sleep
Hearing whispered voices
Exploding crescendo noises
Powerful fists of suppression creep
Seeds of war reap a deadly harvest of life so cheap...

Now, years have fled, my gunís but rust
Remembering still warís blood lust
Remembering brothers who played
Who laughed
Who joked
Who watched my back
Now resting in mother earth's dark crack
Friends laid low in yon battlefield dust
No longer to feel foul war windís awful gust...

The pain still comes over fortified ramparts from afar
Burned deep where old wounds have left their scar
Needing healing forever my heart still weeping
In honor of egregiously old times seeping
In old eyes forever young
Forever will imperceptible exploits escape pen and tongue
Of indelible memories still keeping
To honor brothers never forgetting...

Tell our brave history heartbreakingly wrung
Ringing the stories loudly like bells on high rung
Singing true warriorís songs ever with bravado sung
For though I now labor to grow a greater peace
In my heart the battle will never cease
So tell its tales to gain from future battles
Future brotherís release...

Liberty Bell Mekong Delta in more serene times Liberty Bell

Yet the Beat Goes On
by Gary Jacobson © 2002
In manís wars enacted on foreign shores
With guns and bombs and claymores
Each generation thinks they fought
The war to end all war
Earning freedom's won by conflict sought
That all civilization says they abhor
Yet people still speak to people with tongues that fork
Honest love for one another conveniently cork...

Will each new generation
Have to learn historyís lessons leading to evils abdication?
By horrendous conflict surely weíve learned
By patriotic blood lost earned
Or continue offering silent refrain
Each one of us hoping fallen comrades died not in vain.
Yet hatreds still flow, inspired El Quaida extremists
To a modern Pearl Harbor, New York, came vile terrorists...

Citing worldwide differences from Israel to Palestine
Hatreds between India-Kashmir-Pakistan
Fundamentalist's bear religious enmities numerous as grains of sand
Hate with emerging patterns of bitterness hard to understand
Is it people that dress differently
Talk differently
Irelandís IRA, Spain and the Basques
Muslims, Christians, Protestants, Catholics
Sparks glowing in red, white, yellow and blacks?

Why canít you all think like me anyway
People on one side of the mountain
To people on the other side of the mountain say?
Why are foreign feet all made of clay?
O keep the cadence beat
For hatredís evil never sounds retreat
As gorilla rebels in their wretched wrath
Find the "shining Path..."

As gadgets, spooks and the CIA
Greedy CEOís maliciously with lives play
Men look to distant men with seething jealousy
Living cloistered lives in clannish fantasy
Forgetting brotherhood's common courtesy
Differences fueling the warrior platoon
Children growing too old, too soon,
Old men learn to hate, to kill, under a hunter's moon.

Yet the bestial beat goes on
Intolerance spurred by hatreds forsworn
Warlords in their vanity on their own prey
Tribes distrust other tribes across the ridgeline way
Breeding animosity for one another
Harboring vindictiveness for a brother
Swelling from every nation on earth
Rancorous hostility cankerous till humanities dearth.

There is one shining hope in the harvest we sow...
And it's a four letter word, don't you know?
Plant seeds so brotherly love might in the world grow
Teaching peace worldwide for all mankind to bestow
Caring for others with love true peace will employ
Overcoming differences that will surely destroy.
Teach good will to every child, girl and boy
From the great peacemaker learn that to truly live
Of yourself to all mankind you must give.

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