The Unclassifiable Library Remix

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

A Veteran's Tribute

It's a little early for Veteran's Day, but I wanted to share this poem for several reasons.

First - Veteran's Day is coming up, and I believe in honoring our troops. Even when I don't agree with the politics of the this nation, I will always support the men and women that put themselves in harm's way to protect others. Sadly, Veteran's Day I think is becoming more of a day for car sales and getting out of work rather than honoring our nation's heros.

Secondly - In honor of the men of my family that have fought in ever war in this nation, saving the current generation. My father was in the Navy for close to 30 years - fighting through Desert Storm and the Cold War. His father was Army during Vietnam. My mother's father ran away to join the Marines at 16 and fought in the South Pacific during WWII, during which time my grandmother served as an airplane spotter. Mom's stepfather was in the Air Force during WWII. Our family tree contains many more Patriots that have supported this country in times of trouble.

Thirdly - to raise awareness as an archivist of the need to preserve history. So much of what we have learned about the past has come from documents, stories, ephemera, relia, and other means. Sadly, today with so much being digital in origin, we are losing a vital part of our historical record. How much of our history is being deleted? Some may laugh at my email archive going back to the early 90s - but who knows. Maybe one day it will provide insight for someone studying our time in history. I hope others will join me in preserving our digital information for posterity - ensuring our voices continue to tell our stories to those that come after.
Amplify’d from
Warriors (a poem)
Oct 29, 2011 8:47:00 PM
by Dan Doyle, Vietnam Veteran
     In those halcyon days of our youth
     When we donned our armor
     And went off to war, singing,
     We felt ourselves heroes,
     Brave enough to vie with gods.
     We believed ourselves men
     Whose names would live
     Long after our noble victories.
     But such dreams never last.
     Soon the day comes when fear,
     Or some crushing defeat,
     Or craven death claims a comrade
     And we are changed forever.
     War, then, is no longer a game,
     Or some fancified dream.
     Then the warrior cannot doubt
     War’s terrible reality—
     And it is very hard
     To be bravely borne,
     For it enfolds death
     And makes the going on,
     Seem unendurable.
      If we survive war’s reality
     And come home again
     To live among friends,
     To wander again the familiar environs,
     We no longer feel at home,
     For we who left can not return.
     Our spirits have been touched.
     Though our bodies are still young,
     They are scarred and broken.
     They have grown old
     And those who loved who we had been
     May no longer recognize us,
     May not understand our nightmares,
     Our impatience with the mundane.
     We who have gone to wars
     Walk with death at our side.
     We know what you do not yet see.
     But we can teach you much
     About life and death,
     Comradeship and duty,
     If you listen…