Long gone brave soldiers of history
During long nights, they visit me
Long dead grunt infantry
Bring back memories of days of infamy.
At first they frightened me.
I see them marching under withering sun
Primed for action their trusty gun
Faces of old friends file by, one-by-one
Then pointing fingers in my face, come those I killed
Contrite with haunting contrition I'm filled.
They leave me with this thought in veneration
Old soldiers know this new generation
Would in this evil world see battle's action
Would as they, face fear, death and pain
But please God, let it not be in vain!
We old soldiers wonder, as we stare into space
Seeing the past before us race
Remembering wrongs and rights done in wars great haste
Have we made the world a better place
Brought to bear sage healing grace?
Have we learned for neighbors to be more tolerant
Have political leaders learned theyíre a public servant
Always for the will of the people observant
Elected to restore the good life assiduous
Not to foster insane wars vainglorious.
Screaming, I hear familiar voices of men distorted
Caught in the wrong place, young lives aborted
By demons of war and a throw of the dice sorted
Dream of old battlefields with these old vets
I toss and turn with awful night sweats.
How can I forget my torrid history
When brothers come every night to remind me
That old enemy comes to haunting ... taunting?
O that I could bring brothers back into the land of living
If I could take back the all theyíre giving.
So, have we learned as our forefathers
To winnow out our nationís ill-wishers
To walk softly but carry a big stick
For pages of history before us turn deadly quick
To discern true evil where we have a bone to pick?
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