They are the “Silent Sentries”, they cannot march or walk,
But oh the stories they would tell if they could only talk.
Their poignant message far transcends eloquence of the human tongue.
Their message whispers through time and space, the saddest anthem ever sung.
Yet it is poignant, eloquent and powerful, beyond ANY speech ever spoken.
It speaks of a GREAT GENERATION –, freedom —, self sacrifice —, blood shed —, UN-COMMON valor–, love of country, —-, fear—, indescribable suffering —, loneliness —, and millions of hearts shattered and broken.
These Sentries would talk of a Great Depression-, bank closings–, financial ruin -, and the loss of hope all over the nation.
They’d talk of the homeless, the destitute, the poverty stricken-, starving children–, tattered clothes–, suicide and mass starvation.
They’d talk about heroic Americans –, who survived –, the loss of homes, family farms, and the loss of hope and incentive as well.
Yes they would talk of America’s heartbreak too awesome and painful for mortals to tell.
These Silent Sentries would talk of “soup lines” –, hobo jungles –, polio epidemics –, iron lungs–, the Dust Bowl – -, the grim desperation that went with each day.
They’d talk about back breaking toil –, starvation wage –, the C.C.C. and the W.P.A.
But the demons of evil had only begun, the tentacles of hatred –, and greed –, were reaching for more!
In Europe –, and Asia evil was marching, tyranny was forcing the world into war!
Then these Sentries would speak of THAT time and THAT place, December the 7th, 1941,
Pearl Harbor, The Day Of Infamy, a sneak attack —, on our nation at peace —–, by the Naval forces of The Rising Sun!
Pummeled and ravaged by a decade of depression –, now a sneak attack on America’s shores,
Had forced the struggling “back bone” of America into the Hell of ALL OUT WAR!
When the enemy retreated –, destruction and carnage –, was left in their wake —, on “Battleship Row” —, the USS Arizona was doomed.
She went to the bottom with much of her crew, martyrs for freedom they were entombed.
And on this nightmarish” Date Of Infamy” –, her sister ships were damaged or sinking–, some were now just smoking wrecks.
But soldiers, sailors and Leathernecks, —, many wounded and burned -, were shooting back —, from the gun turrets on bomb ravaged decks.
Soldiers and airmen manned their planes –, and their guns–, some would be killed by Japanese “flak”,
At Hickam and Wheeler —-, hangers and planes –, were smoking ruins —, powerless to launch a counter attack.
When the enemy headed back out to sea, everyone wondered, “are they coming back?
But the “Sleeping Giant” of America’s Spirit had been aroused by this cowardly deed.
There would be no surrender, compromise or retreat–, “Remember Pearl Harbor” —-, was the call to arms –, America’s Battle Cry”, code and creed —, etc (several more pages)
Ivan L Fail, Sparta, Missouri. 50′s era Marine and retired Federal Correctional Officer.
Submitted to the Federal Observer for publication by the author.