Anthony W. Pahl


Between the names etched into the stone,
I seem to see my own.
Between the names blurred by my tears,
I see a face;
It’s mine!
Between the thronging silent crowds,
I hear the sounds of war.
Between the years of then and now
I still sense the fear.

Though countless days have come and gone,
I still remember when
I felt and sensed a pride and worth
for a job there to be done:
The pride of donning battle gear
to fight for what was right
was changed by hate and scorn at home
to nightmares hard to fight.

Now I hear the screams of pain
from both alive and dead
as I pause to gather my thoughts of worth
to face the day ahead.
I talk with friends who care and share
and as I listen to their words,
I try to reconcile my thoughts
to the abuse and scars laid bare.
Anger seeps into my heart,
the sorrow too much to bear
as I sit and write my words for life.

Please listen and please hear.

Don’t permit a silence of shame and blame.
Don’t let anger fade away.
For if we do
what we have seen
will see the light again.

Nations will forget our pain
and individuals will never know
what rejection of a generation does
to a nation’s heart and soul.

I am only one but I am one who knows
the truth of all I’ve said.

My heart screams loud.
See the lakes of tears we’ve bled.