Armistice Day Poem by Fred Norman, Ch. 162

November 11, 2016
by Fred Norman, East Bay Chapter 162

Armistice Day, 2016

Tonight we meet again as we have met before,
as we have met this night for ten long years
as our soldiers killed the enemy and the enemy
killed them — Death seems to be the goal,
Truth long ago forgotten, Peace is a lie.
And we will meet
and they will kill and die
their ghostly reminders waiting on our Hill
            waiting                        waiting
for us to end the wars.
Could the dead here on our Hill hear us today,
what would we say to them? Would we say,
“Thank you for your service”, stand at attention,
salute with pride, teary-eyed? Or would instead
it be better said to simply say, “I’m sorry”?
I’m sorry I didn’t do enough to end the wars.
I’m sorry I didn’t do enough to save your lives.
I’m sorry.
That is the truth.
Thank you for your service.
That is just another lie.
Thank you, thank you for your service.
We say it to the Veteran at the mall,
in school we say it to the soldier in the hall,
we say it to the uniform not knowing what
it means, but to the veterans on our Hill it seems
to thank the honored dead for being dead —
            26 so far this year for being dead,
            7,000 in 15 years for being dead.
Will we give thanks to them forever
while their ghosts wait patiently on our Hill?
            Waiting            Waiting
for us to end the wars.
I say instead it is better said to simply say,
            “I’m sorry.”
I’m sorry I did not do enough to end the wars
            a failure that must be rectified,
            Peace be made the goal, the truth,
            War be made unknown, the lie.
© Fred Norman, Pleasanton, CA