I have mentioned the poem’s posted are from a poetry book I found in my mother’s possession. The book belonged to Private “Hutch” Hutchens, a WW2 veteran who left this page bookmarked for me to find and share with all of you. Both of my grandfathers’ fought in WW2 on the front lines. Private “Hutch” fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and another grandfather could tell you, if he were here today, that he knows exactly where Normandy Beach is. I felt “The Unknown Soldier” was appropriate for the tumultuous time our country is facing.
There’s a GRAVEYARD near the White House
Where the Unknown Soldier lies,
And where the flowers there are sprinkled
With the tears from mother’s eyes.
I stood there not so long ago
With roses for the brave,
And suddenly I heard a voice Speak from out the grave:
“I am the Unknown Soldier,” The spirit voice began,
“And I think I have the right
To ask some questions man to man.
“Are my buddies taken care of?
Was their victory so sweet?
Is that big reward you offered
Selling pencils on the street?
“Did they really win the freedom
They battled to achieve?
Do you still respect that Croix de Guerre
Above that empty sleeve?
“Does a gold star in the window
Now mean anything at all?
I wonder how my old girl feels
When she hears a bugle call.
“And that baby who sang
‘Hello, Central, give me no man’s land’-
Can they replace her daddy
With a military band?
“I wonder if the profiteers
Have satisfied their greed?
I wonder if a soldier’s mother
Ever is in need?
“I wonder if the kinds, who planned it all
Are really satisfied?
They played their game of checkers
And eleven million died.
“I am the Unknown Soldier
And maybe I died in vain,
But if I were alive and my country called,
I’d do it all over again.” Billy Rose.
- WWII vets storm their memorial despite shutdown (holykaw.alltop.com)