Sunday, January 5, 2014

The more things change. . .

My grandfather was a 28-year-old father of five when the US entered WWII.  With so many dependents, he wasn't high on the draft list, but at 30-years-old, he found himself in the US Navy, and by 31 he was headed to Okinawa.  That young husband and father wrote this poem just before returning to US shores.  As one conflict ended, he captured both the gratitude and relief of that moment, as well as why it was unlikely to last, so very well.  I'm working on getting things scanned, typed, etc., but wanted to record it here in the mean time.

In the hills of Okinawa and too along
the shore
Those mothers' sons are resting, in peace
forever more.
That hell and all its horrors those brave
lads have endured
But now they meet in heaven with
all their miseries cured.
If this and all the other pretty isles
about the sea
could, in the heart of nations, a symbol
always be
Then the beauty, yes, and glory, of every
tiny isle
Could be monuments to progress
and prosper all the while.
But I'm afraid the worst's not over,
and the fighting still goes on,
And sure it will continue until the
hate and greed are gone.
Til mankind has learned the lesson
Our savior tried to teach
There'll still be sons out dying
on some lonely foreign beach.
~Nathan M. Pierce, USS Santee Oct 32, 1945

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