Gary Jacobson

The Wall That Heals: The Traveling Wall
The Wall That Heals ~ The Traveling Wall: Morton, Illonois: May 2008


Oh they came to the wall that heals from far and wide
To pay respect to those who had for them died
Gathering in a little town, Morton, Illinois
To peaceful reverence give to our nation’s boys.
Morton proved small in every way… but heart
Morton did moral goodness impart.
Truly America’s heartland gave with succor
Heart-felt down-home honor
Gracious to brothers, daughters, fathers, mother’s sons
Who for them gave their all in the land of guns.

Morton citizenry the wall experience absorbed
Voraciously with earnest countenance pored
Rapt with sacred solemnity for 58,000 names meditated
Gaining special kinship for soldiers of the wall
Honoring those brave men who for them did fall.
Young and old memorialized a soldier’s history
Studied pictures, implements of war, poems telling his story
They paid lasting tribute for veteran’s habitually taciturn
To those who gave very life for them concerned
Humble hearts full of dignity to forefathers turned.

Morton gave homage to valiant warriors
Brother saviors
Who touched hearts with fire
Giving overdue respect
To grizzled veterans to inspire
Torn with suffering abject
With spirits tempest tossed
Forfeited all to abominable foul winds in battle lost
Whose light in the mind betimes bedims
Caught in a busy world’s capricious whims.

Men of Morton saw a job needed doing…
And did it!
Moving mountains and other shi…
uh, er, slight inconveniences…
To bring to town this healing wall
Bringing honor to us all
The spirit of solemn reverence hung in air so proud
So peacefully vowed it was pervasively loud
Reigning with quiet respect profound
Bore witness by every primal sound.

I’ll always remember
Though frail life fades from September
Racing too fast to cold winds of December
Morton’s ‘Wall That Heals’ mastermind, Larry Stimeling
Who organized this whole thing
Like well-oiled wheel’s sing
I’ll remember John Hosier and the Lt
Leading a discussion of PTSD
LT sang soulful ballads from his heart for us too
Stories sung of cruel war in sweet reverence touching true.

I’ll always remember… Jerry Agles
He of the ‘can do’ spirit of eagles.
Denny Loser’s endearing smile
Parkinson’s giving his step a bounce to beguile
Inspired all who met him to go the extra mile.
The friendly lady in the Legion hall who gave us Cokes
The laughter, the tears, the jokes.
I love Morton’s down-home friendly folks!

I’ll always remember…
The band of brothers who put on this stirring display
Who brought to just folk, this show-and-tell play
Giving deep felt loving in veneration
With Illinois thanks swelling from a grateful nation
Profound citizens felt intimately the caring
Giving great reward in sharing
Old soldier’s taught of great sacrifice that gave us today
Taught with war’s artifacts display
How boys did machinations of despot oppressors allay.

We taught of sobering memories sweet-and-sour blue
A band of brothers where love ran true
Where evil times tried men’s souls with accursedness
Suffering bad times and good times in savage barbarousness
Facing barefaced gall, a few good men gave all
Men who now stand tall on a long black wall
Sounding freedoms melodious song sweetly sonorous
For us.

John Hosier, Larry Stimeling, Gary Jacobson
John Hosier, Larry Stimeling, Gary Jacobson: Morton, Illonois: May 2008