From a Nigerian-American on Memorial Day to my father, veteran officer, Biafran Infantry and my father-in-law, veteran, U.S. Navy (served in Vietnam). They and others like them, then and now, are the reason I have myself never had to experience the horrors of war.
There are no voices over ordered rows of stone,
Visitors silent over silent hosts,
And, dotted nationwide at work or recreation,
The quiet few who lend voice to comrade ghosts.
No more than honest pride at our acclaim
That they went to serve when we called their name.
They don’t emerge from our deciding classes
They didn’t make the causes of their fight;
In history no power is ever perfect
But none has faced such auditing of might.
Never again should we turn unjust blame
On those who went to serve when we called their name.
Most go to embrace the opportunity
That is the substance of our nation,
Some come from overseas offering lives to
Citizen peers, bravest form of immigration.
Bitter worry scars all families the same;
Yet they go to serve when we call their name.
These are America’s resource of conscience
Which in returning stocks our wherewithal—
Some with wounds we see, some which we don’t,
And some in not returning home at all.
Our energy is marshaled in the flame
Of those who went to serve when we called their name.