Remembering ‘Nam’


For money, for land, for a political stand:
Wars have been fought through the ages.
The dead, the dying, those who would rather die,
The agony of war catalogued, pages and pages.

Let us write of Vietnam,
lest the horrors and sacrifices be forgotten by the masses;
The camaraderie, the friendship and the love
Never distinguished by the classes.
Although mere words could never try
To express the fear, the pain, the tears,
The reasons, the excuses, the why.

Semper Fi, Semper Fi, that brotherhood of men,
Moving quietly through the jungle, resting now and then;
Searching out the enemy, feeling death close,
and Wondering not how, not if, but when.

Somewhere near a battle rages, helicopters fill the air;
Troops brought in, wounded out, under a frantic corpsman's care.
Mortars are thumping, jets are strafing, helicopters full;
The pleading for more, not enough to go around,
The dead, the dying, the maimed litter the bloody ground.

On the rivers, down in the tunnels, on patrol or a prisoner for years,
No matter what the duty, each man faced his private fears.
The enemy was everywhere, no matter what kind,
In the jungle, demonstrators, or in one's own mind.

Sing a hymn in your hearts, a sad yet calm refrain
For those who came home, for those who still remain;
Perhaps someday a memorial will tell of the bravery
Of those who went, and the names of those who fell.

– Kathy Harrison


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