Anthem for Doomed Youth
Thank you for your "likes" Oganga Mangiti for my comments. I feel grateful and supported.
This is such a heartfelt tribute! I felt all of it!
I remember the Normandy beach and then looking out over the cemetery. I cried!
Like nearly every American, I have numerous family members who have served in the military, some in wartime (declared or not). Fortunately, they've all escaped injury or worse. But we must not lose sight of the meaning of Memorial Day. The men and women that serve to protect our way of life, too many of which have paid the ultimate price, deserve our unwavering respect.
With each war we say "never again"and then we forget that promise. Oh when will we ever truly learn the error of our ways?
What an utterly profound and lovely essay.
The poem is beautiful, most apt, well crafted, and serves the cathartic function Plato identified. Thanks for it. I think only the crystallization and universality of poetry could possibly have captured our horror, grief, gratitude, and love.
Doug Andre, Joe Kusick, and Skip Barger three from my little high school- Karns City, PA died during Vietnam. Doug was infantry. Doug was a good athlete- he played basketball and baseball. Joe was Special Forces and died in a helicopter crash in Laos. His body has not been recovered. Skip Barger was a warrant officer and helicopter pilot. He was my classmate. His cousin later died by suicide due to the pain from his injuries suffered in Vietnam. Kyle Powell from Colorado Springs died in Iraq. He was my son's classmate. Kyle was a Marine. Very year I donate to the Marine's Toys for Tots in Kyle's memory. His parent's fear is that he will be forgotten. I have assured them as long as I can I will donate to Toys for Tots in Kyle's memory. I remember Joe's memorial service at the high school. His little brothers around 6-10 years old at the time sobbed the whole way through. They played "The Ballad of the Green Berets" at the cemetery for Joe. They used a generator to power the little record player.
Biden is more than doing his job. I am proud that I voted for him--more so each day.
This made me cry.
Thank you for the beauty of those tragic words. I don’t believe there will ever be a reckoning for the doomed generations; things just don’t work that way. It saddens me profoundly to see the repetitions of irreparable harm passed down generationally. I am thankful that my father and brother did not lose their physical lives to war, though the psychic wounds remain as long as they live.
What struck me as profound and poetic was this phrase:
Those whose lives were suddenly cut short now march together toward eternity.
I’m an English teacher. Wilfred Owen’s poetry still leaves students with deeply-felt sadness. Thank you for that reminder.
Throughout the centuries it's been MEN, with their uncontrolled and uncontrollable testosterone who have wreaked havoc on humankind. What a different world it would be if women, architects of our existence, had had the chance to make life or death decisions to send young men into battle!
But the more pressing neglect in this armed-to-the-teeth world is the sheer amount of money that is poured into defense. Where is the department of peace that Dennis Kucinich proposed a while back? Why do we solve problems by shooting others? President Biden acquiesced to the GOP's demand to spend more money on the military as a condition for raising the debt limit, as if we were not already armed to the teeth.
We have been killing, and enjoyed killing. The generals who provided commentary on TV during the Iraq war, described the weapon systems with near erotic glee! We kill children, the poor, and others with debilitating sanctions, as though some deaths are different. We need a Department of/for Peace! If we don't we are on our way to self-immolation with the coming AI armies that will learn our violent ways and best us in sheer gruesomeness and then wipe us off from the face of the earth. Somebody, please help establish a Department of/for Peace!
My father in law was in 5 major battles in WWII as a forward scout. He was a man of few words and never seemed very cheerful to me. Most likely he suffered what we call PTSD now otherwise known as shell shock. One story he told sticks with me. He was in a fox hole and a grenade descended into the hole. It blew up his buddy and left only a graze in the corner of his eye. I am sure that and other things he witnessed shaped the person I and my husband and our children knew. He did not have an easy life before the war but there are pictures of him pre 1940 that show a smiling countenance. 💔💜
That would be my pleasure!