A fitting tribute to Vietnam Veteran’s Day by my friend and former Special Forces officer, Thomas Drinkard.
This is the first poem for Veteran’s Day. This one is especially for Vietnam Veterans. The Wall was paid for, not out of government funding, but from veteran’s organizations. The poem tracks a soldier from his earliest days to his return to America.
For the Vietnam Veterans of America
I. Roll Call
Arrayed in perfect ranks and files,
row on row,
gleaming metal and polished black,
sharp straight edges cutting the wind,
in static silent formation.
Only their nameplates speak…
a voiceless babble of American families,
no other speaks, or spoke, for them.
Soldiers should not make their own monuments
Away from this place of silence,
this place of unheard voices,
(where a limp flower hangs,
pushed into a crevice of the black stone),
the nation erected proper monuments of heroism:
sinewy white marble demigods with laurels;
or helmeted bronze men, thrusting a flagpole upright.
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