Submitted by: Mike Murray

Category: Poetry

This poem was written by me in 2001, shortly after I learned of the WWll memorial being planned. I wanted something that would reflect the sacrifices of the "citizen soldier" and pay homage to "the greatest generation".


We were there for you in forty-one
steel gray coffins pierced by hot rays of the Rising Sun.

We plodded barefoot at Bataan
Taken mercilessly by the Dawn.

In the North Atlantic where we sleep
So many Brothers in the deep.

We built a road with Vinegar Joe
and flew the Hump, we had to go.

We tasted blood on the sea
Midway ‘tween home and the enemy.

In Africa, in Sicily, and the in toe of Italy
We lost our eyes, our limbs, and our blood
We moved forward caked in mud.

We lay on the sands of a Pacific isle
wrapped in blood-stained ponchos, single file.

Our aircrews were shredded in the deadly flak
Four planes flown, three came back.

The Greatest Armada ever put to sea
landed We Allies on Normandy.

We leapt from planes to marshes below
We were bent but not broken by the Axis foe.

We were tangled and torn and bruised at the Bulge
At Malmandy our dead froze cold.

We crossed blue rivers and turned them Red
The green of the jungles concealed our Dead.

We sobbed at the horrors in the Camps of Death
The Concentration of pain took our breath.

We judged the guilty, propped up the weak,
Fed the poor and urged the meek.

Father, Mother, Daughter, Son,
We were the people in uniform.

As on Suribachi our Flag unfurled
We did nothing more than save the World!

For those of the “Greatest Generation”
By Mike Murray

About the author:

Retired and on disability, married for several decades a veteran of USN service from 1968 to 1972. Proud dad, grandpa and American, and too much time on my hands.