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lamberts-lost-tooth
08-25-2009, 02:23 PM
I apologize beforehand if my poems are getting old.

I have been reading and studying up on WWII and our "Greatest Generation" and so many of the stories move me to try and express my admiration.

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Bedford VA. lost 26 young men during World War II...It was only a town of 3,200 people. No other town paid as high a price per capita as this small town, which is why the National D-Day memorial is there.

http://historicvaredcross.org/assets/scripts/tiny_mce/plugins/imagemanager/files/D-Day13.jpg

To put it into percpective...if New York City would have lost the same percentage of its soldiers, 45,000 young men from the city have died during the invasion.

To thank this small town for its sacrifice, France sent a stone from Normandy Beach to the citizens with the names of their 26 soldiers who had died in WWII engaved on its face. It now resides near the National Memorial.


The Bedford Boys

There is a stone, a humble gift, from the beach at Normandy
Sent to a town, that gave so much to keep their country free.
Etched in its face, are the engraved names of 26 young men.
Who landed on that bloody shore, and ne'er came home again.

They were citizen soldiers, National Guard, and proud to be a part
Of a greater good, an honorable task, and served with eager heart.
They were childhood buddies, high school friends, living side by side
They were raised together, grew up together, and together they all died.

The “Bedford Boys”, like many, responded to the call
They gave so much, they gave up much, and 26 gave all.
They were the 116th Infantry, most served in company “A”.
9 out of 10 died on that beach, on that dreadful day.

While their broken bodies crumbled in the surf and foam
Their families and their loved ones were left worrying at home.
Then the word came trickling in… the town had lost a son.
Then it was two ..now five..now ten..each hour another one.

By the time they had stopped counting, no tears were left unshed
No other town was hit so hard, with 26 men dead.
Just a small and patriotic town, who paid so high a price .
Who watered the tree of liberty, with the blood of sacrifice.

So there is a stone, a humble gift, from a beach at Normandy
Still in a town which gave so much, for the cause of liberty.
Etched in its face, are engraved the names of 26 young men,
It is cared for by the loved ones who will never see them again.

If you get a chance to see the town, take time to see the stone.
Read each name, and please reflect, of the heroism shown.
..and if like me, you’ve served your land, and wish to give tribute.
Then stand at full attention, and give them a salute.

***If you know a WWII Vet...take time to sit with them...and let them talk...just listen***

revefsreleets
08-25-2009, 02:43 PM
That reminds me of Lincoln's letter to Mrs. Bixby...she lost 2 of her 5 sons in the Civil War (although Lincoln, at the time, believed she lost all 5).

Ironically, she was a Confederate sympathizer, disliked Lincoln and threw the letter away.

Anyway, here's Lincoln's letter...don't mean to upstage or anything just thought it fit...

Executive Mansion,
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.

Dear Madam,--

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.

I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,

A. Lincoln

lamberts-lost-tooth
08-25-2009, 02:53 PM
That reminds me of Lincoln's letter to Mrs. Bixby...she lost 2 of her 5 sons in the Civil War (although Lincoln, at the time, believed she lost all 5).

Ironically, she was a Confederate sympathizer, disliked Lincoln and threw the letter away.

Anyway, here's Lincoln's letter...don't mean to upstage or anything just thought it fit...

Executive Mansion,
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.

Dear Madam,--

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.

I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,

A. Lincoln

If you are a fan of Band of Brothers , you may recall that Don Malarkey and Skip Monk were Friends of Fritz Niland...Fritz was one of 4 brothers...the rest were thought killed and Fritz went home...it was the story that inspired "Saving Private Ryan"

revefsreleets
08-25-2009, 03:02 PM
If you are a fan of Band of Brothers , you may recall that Don Malarkey and Skip Monk were Friends of Fritz Niland...Fritz was one of 4 brothers...the rest were thought killed and Fritz went home...it was the story that inspired "Saving Private Ryan"

Oh yeah...definitely. But I like the simple elegance and eloquence of Lincoln's letter and like to leave it as a standalone kind of thing.

Kittyfish
08-26-2009, 09:49 AM
Dang it, LLT, you've done it again. Not that I'm an expert or anything, but I truly think this is wonderful. I understand you've never been published at all - have you considered perhaps submitting some of your work to a magazine or something? Seriously, dude, what have you got to lose?

lamberts-lost-tooth
08-26-2009, 10:28 AM
Dang it, LLT, you've done it again. Not that I'm an expert or anything, but I truly think this is wonderful. I understand you've never been published at all - have you considered perhaps submitting some of your work to a magazine or something? Seriously, dude, what have you got to lose?

LOL...my PRIDE!!!!