The following poem was written by Archibeld MacLeish. We always thought that it has been one of the most appropriate poems to express why we have been fighting two governments for over 10 years now, our own government, and the government of Yemen to bring the killers of our son and his mates to justice.
We have lost any hope that either country will bring the killers to justice anytime soon, if ever. Especially since President Saleh of Yemen and his corrupt regime are now in the process of self destructing. Which only means that our sons killers who are still in Yemen stand a good chance of getting away in the chaos after Saleh's rotten regime is overthrown. Now our government will have another excuse as to why they have not brought any of the killers to justice. But then again our leaders have always had good excuses, at least they think so. But in the end its always politics as the number one reason that presidents, and politicians abandon our fighting men and women. Its called political expediency. Our son and his mates were not the first military members to be forgotten by their government, and will not be the last. Just look at the Vietnam War. How many dead soldiers, marines, airman, and sailors? Fifty thousand? How many more with lost limbs, and with emotional disorders that lasted them a lifetime. How many parents, wives, brothers, sisters, and friends that still ask themselves, "What was that all about? What did he die for?"
And now Iraq, and Afghanistan. Will the these new family members of fallen soldiers from a different generation be asking themselves the same questions five or 10 years from now? Or even sooner? Unfortunately there is a good chance that they will. But these family members can add a new question to the list of already painful questions that we who have been there still ask ourselves late at night, "They told us this war would be different! That we would fight to win! That we would not leave until we were sure that our goals had been obtained. That thousands of Americans would not suffer needlessly again!" But as we can all see the outcome of this war is already sounding like that other war our politicians began and lost.
Oh sure! We will all be told that we met all of our objectives! That we can have Peace with Honor!(Sound familiar yet?) And if the Iraqis, and Afgans are taken over by radical Islam, it want be because we did not try! Which is a Big White Lie. We are still in Germany and Japan. WWII has been over for how long now? And how about the Forgotten Korean War? A war that ended where it started for all practical purposes three years later. How many American lives did that war cost us? But don't we still have troops there as well? Of course we do.
So why do our presidents and politicians send young Americas to their deaths in a war as easily as they spend our taxes. Because they can get away it, and always have. Our politicians will not change until we the people change. Pure and simple. Our leaders keep one eye on the body bags, and one eye on the polls. The democrats and liberals used the war and its surrounding issues, like Gitmo, and torture to keep the republicans out of the White house this last election.
And now we have our leaders telling us that the war has been won, and its time to bring the boys and girls back home! Really? The video images coming out of Iraq, and Afghanistan tell me a much different story. And if you stay current of Middle Eastern affairs it does not take a military genius to figure out that the Middle East is going to need American might for a long time to come. If we don't want to lose all of our hard gotten gains that is. And have more parents, wives, husbands, and families asking the same questions as the families that lost loved ones in the Vietnam War. We need a real peace not a false peace of empty words on a piece of paper.
As you read the following poem think hard about the statements that are made. Try to put aside your party affiliation aside when you answer them to yourself. Many people can't take that big of a step. They stay blinded by their politics, just like our presidents, and politicians. And then they pull out the old patriotic sayings like they told us that they could not do anything about Saleh and Al-Qaeda after our son was killed. "A few must die so the many may prosper". But more than a few died less than 10 months later after the Cole attack. And more than a few are being killed right now in our war on terror. So how many is a few to a politician? Seventeen, three thousand, and or fifty thousand? I guess it depends on which politician you ask, and where they are at in the polls when you ask them that question. Sad is it not.
Its going to take a president and politicians that are more worried about our country's future, and the American men and women they will send to defend it then their poll numbers when it comes to the war, and the future of this nation. Leaders who will tell the American people the hard and cold facts. That this war will not be over anytime soon. That we need what the Middle East has. And the same holds true for the capture and conviction of terrorists who have murdered innocent Americans. We need leaders who will stop playing with the emotions of the family members of the victims, and using the killers as a political tool to their advantage and or their opponents disadvantage.
But unfortunately I don't see any leaders like that at the present time in either party. Military members put their lives on the line everyday, and some lose their lives. And all too often its our presidents and our politicians who take that service and sacrifice for granted. Life is way too fragile and precious for backsliding politicians and presidents to waste.
So we will continue to remember that our son was young, and that he died for his country, and we will remember him. And we will continue to fight for justice for him and his mates as long as one of us is alive. And those actions on our part will have to suffice for now to give his brief life and sudden death any meaning, if any meaning is to be found at all in his death.
Remember the USS Cole! Seventeen KIA, and 39 others wounded. And to all the other men and women and their families who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation, and my family. Thank-you! And to all those who have served with honor, and are now serving in our military we Thank-you and your families for your service and sacrifice. And for our Freedoms that my wife and I enjoy everday. We will remember you, and your families.
The Young Dead Soldiers Do Not Speak
Nevertheless they are heard in the still houses. Who has not heard them?
They have a silence that speaks for them at night, and when the clock counts.
They say, We were young. We have died. Remember us.
They say. We have done what we could but until it is finished it is not done.
They say, we have given our lives but until it is finished it is not done.
They say, our deaths are not ours. They are yours. They will mean what you make them.
They say, Wether our lives and our deaths were for peace and a new hope or nothing we cannot say: it is you who must say this.
They say, We leave you our deaths: give them their meaning: give them an end to the war and a true peace, give them a victory that ends the war and a peace afterwards, give them their meaning.
We were young, they say. We Have died. Remember us.