Letter to the Editor: Who remembers?

Now seventy-five years
But who still remembers
The B17s, and the B24s
And their gallant crew members?

Pearl Harbor and so it starts
POWs and Purple Hearts
Soldiers and tanks
Sailors and Yanks.

Enlisted or drafted or ASTP,
Many awarded the C I B.
SONAR and RADAR, FUBAR, SNAFU,
The names and places, the jargon – all new.

The Tin Can Navy
And USS Missouri
The Battleship Texas
And its great story.

Iwo Jima
And Saipan’s Marines,
Amphibious landings.
The Philippines.

Bloody Hatten
And Sgt Stratton,
And who really buried
General Patton?

Pilots and Navs
Flak and Gunners
Sea Bees and Seven Seas
And submarine hunters.

From the same little town,
Came Evans and Austin.
Some sailed from Norfolk,
But Siple, from Boston.
Couldn’t join the Marines
Without mother’s permission
So here I am
On my twenty-fifth mission.

Twenty-five missions
And no driver’s license.
To the class of ‘44
It just didn’t make sense.

Anzio, Normandy
And another invasion
Bastogne and the Bulge,
It took some persuasion.

Saggione’s boots
Were the first in Japan
He saw the surrender
At MacArthur’s command.

Had orders for Tokyo. Many said,
“If it weren’t for Harry, I’d be dead.”
They agreed it was all random,
And also so vast.

Seventy five years
And who still bothers?
For Gold Star Mothers
And kids without fathers,

We honor the veterans
Their unselfishness true,
Their faith and their sacrifice
For me and for you.

John T. Reardon
Dover

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