He was special
to his family,
to his friends,
to his comrades in arms.
For little pay
hazardous working conditions
he gave without greed
he gave from his heart.
Today he died
sacrificing his life for his country
but no one knows except
his comrades in arms.
They have lost someone special
as has his country
but his country does not know or care
for today a celebrity died
a person of wealth, fame, notoriety
known by everyone for
their product endorsements.
Death has claimed two people today
one a celebrity, a face known to all
the other a soldier, known only to those close to him
both are mourned
for only one
do strangers weep
do they send cards, flowers
is the announcement front page news
is their name and picture on the news
is the church filled to overflowing
are the TV cameras taping the burial
for the other
only his family weeps
only his family, friends and comrades send cards, flowers
the only announcement is under Deaths in the local paper
only his family, friends, comrades know his name
only a few go to the church, many pews are empty
there are no TV cameras taping the burial
Two men died today
one a celebrity
the other a simple soldier
both people are important
both deaths will be felt
but to the country one death is important
a celebrity has died.
What a sad world it is
when a person’s value is measured
by his bank account.
©Copyright February 23, 1998 by Maria Sutherland
Author’s Note: It is a sad reflection on the way the world and people are today that someone who was extremely rich and lived a life that most people can only dream off dies because of something they have directly done is treated as a hero and the most important person on earth, yet whenever a person dies while in the service of protecting their country get treated as if they never even existed.