Song playing: The River is Wide

patrolling the wall
bonfire 12 Red Roses bonfire
knightswordspin Still Patrolling the Perimeter my M-16

by Gary Jacobson © November 2005
Ghostly soldiers march by one-by-one
Husband, father, brother, son
Hup ... hup ... hup ... go passing men guarding the wall
Still patrolling the perimeter after these years all.

These men who fear no death
Possess the wall in spirit and breath
Protecting spirits hover ever near
Patrol in timeless bravery here...

The air hangs silently ... but for trampling feet
Watching mothers bawling tears bittersweet
Others at the memorial bow their head
Give hallowed honor to these marching dead.

A young girl heartbreakingly cried
I wish my father hadnít died
I loved him so
Why didnít he wait till older I could grow?
3-tiered rain forest
Remember them ... the liberty they wrought
Freedoms with sacred sacrifice they bought.
Salute these heroes marching strong and brave
Honoring lives their fatherís gave.

Nearby veterans come to attention
Tears in their eyes in solemn admiration
Respectfully in memorial shed rivers of tears
At the heart of a nation their memory sears.
3-tiered rain forest
They fought for you ... they fought for me
Their spirit is what kept America free
With love of country they boldly avow
Nam's sweat and blood upon their mighty brow.

See them file by, young as yesterday
Still looking for enemies in this wild fray
Visions of honor and duty swirling in their head
To this land of the free, they've led.

As they pass by, they look back now and then
On a world they gave their lives for, way back when.
Have we made progress on peace they fought for
For which they gave their lives for ... in awful war?

What have we learned
In many years pages one-by-one turned
Since we put those men on that wall...?
Have we learned anything ... anything at all?
chopper drop

Old Soldiers Night Sweats
by Gary Jacobson © November 2005

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.
xray KIA

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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