They died at Thermopylae. They died because they lived.

They died at Syracuse. They died for no reason.

They died at the Delaware. They were certain they knew why.

They died at Eylau. They believed they knew why.

They died in Camaron. They thought they knew why.

They died in Death Valley. They never worried about why.

They died in Dien Bien Phu. They weren’t supposed to ask why.

They died in the Ia Drang Valley. They weren’t sure why.

In reality they died for each other, but as the Athenians knew, hubris had seduced their final breath.


3 responses to “MEMORIAL DAY 2014

  1. Rick,
    Is this an original composition? It’s powerful, whoever wrote it. It looks like we’re about to offer the poet some tasty South Asian and Middle Eastern place names to use in the next verses.


  2. Boss,
    For better or worse, I wrote back in May. It has been “cooking on the back burner” all summer. Allusions lost on non-historians, no doubt. I appreciate the kind words.


  3. You could go on and on and on…consider the many iterations of “cause” as opposed to “just cause”; of awareness or ignorance, innocence, arrogance; of lack of perspective and/or reflections in the mirror of the past. The Lie of the Singular War Story. Loved the poetry of this and want to go back and learn about the various peoples, places, and wartimes. Great to see you yesterday.


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