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I Forge Iron

The eleventh day of the eleventh month on the eleventh hour


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I watched the flag pass by one day,
It fluttered in the breeze.

A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease..

I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He'd stand out in any crowd.

I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil
How many mothers' tears?

How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, freedom isn't free.

I heard the sound of Taps one night,
When everything was still,
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That Taps had meant "Amen,"

When a flag had draped a coffin.
Of a brother or a friend.

I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea

Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn't free.

Enjoy Your Freedom & God Bless Our Troops,
Past, Present, and Future,
Who gave us this freedom,
And will continue to do so.

Thank a Vet Today.


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In Memory of My Friends:

SGT Robert Lee Dorsey KIA 8/16/66
SSG Ray Fordyce KIA 8/16/66
PFC Preston Polk KIA 11/20/66
CPT Richard C. Glidden died of a brain hemorage in Saigon 2/13/67
PFC Roger Eckstein KIA 4/10/67
PFC Bernhart W. Miller KIA 11/10/67
SP4 Larry Barger KIA 3/26/68
SGT Frederick M. Vickery KIA 8/18/68
SP4 John Petrie KIA 3/9/69
SP5 William M. Jodrey KIA 3/27/67

"If you are able, save for them a place inside of you and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go. Be not ashamed to say you loved them, though you may or may not have always. Take what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own. And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind."

The above was written by: Major Michael Davis O'Donnell 1 January 1970 Dak To, Vietnam Listed as KIA February 7, 1978

it was copied from the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial Wall Site:

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WOODY-- One of my best friends was a Lt. in the Army. He went through two tours in Nam. He came home in the latter part of '68 and was killed in Feb of '69, ten miles West of Dumas Tx., where a horse fell on him.

He was the right kind of guy, he was more mature at 14 years of age, than a lot of people at any age. Always tried to do the right thing at the right time.

His name was Quentin Eppenette.

There is still a hole in our lives.


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  • 10 months later...

Always remember that your freedom was and is not free, it comes at one xxxx of a price. All over the world at places like Lexington, Chateau Thierry, Corregidor, Malmedy, Inchon, Quang Tri, Phu Bai, Grenada, Beirut, Kafji, Falluja, Baghdad and too many unnamed forgotten xxxxholes of the world the grass is always a little greener, the flowers a little taller and a little brighter because the soil there in those places is rich in blood and that is the price paid for freedom. Know that those who made the ultimate sacrifice are the magnificent few among us all who had the guts and the nuts to be the ones to go out and man the fence, to face the ugliness of it all and shed the sweat and the blood and stop the bullets so the rest of us would not have to. Even those among us such as Hanoi Jane and Rosie O'Donnel have the right to say what they say because they are free to do so only for the fact that so many paid dearly for that right. Know that those who paid this price would not complain as they exist in a state of grace and in their magnificence are proud for having accomplished their mission of providing that freedom, even for those of the likes of Jane and Rosie. Always remember them. Semper Fidelis, former Lance Corporal.

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My Brother Seth just left for his third trip to Iraq. He told me to tell my school kids that he wasn't doing it for recognition or fame but because he wanted them to have the freedom to stand around on a street corner and mock the people that were giving their time and lives if they choose. Because they are free.
Sooner or later the price of freedom must be paid by those willing to give up everything so others can be free even if the others don't understand the price that's being paid.
I hope this makes sense I'm pretty worried about him 3rd time this time twice during Desert Storm.
I will never forget all the battles that have been fought and won so I can sit here and type my thoughts or ask ?'s Or just drink a beer in peace and freedom.

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In Canada the most popular - recognized remeberance for our Remeberance day is a poem called "In Flanders Fields". Always brings tears to my eyes.

I was in posted to West Germany from 1977-1981 and on many trips around Europe stopped at cemeteries. Very poignant and sad. I was in my mid 20's at the time and in reading the headstones finally realized that I had already outlived the vast majority of the souls buried there. Visiting the war grave cemeteries made the whole thing very real.

In the Commonwealth war graves cemetaries there was always one headstone that would choke me up. The inscription read "A soldier known unto God".

Seeing hundreds, and in the case of the American cemetary near Omaha beach in Normandy thousands, of headstones really shakes you to your core.

My heart is sad for their deaths but very appreciative of the sacrifice they made.

If any of you make your way to Ottawa we have a brand new war museum and I would be glad to take you there and show you around the city.

Brian in Ottawa

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  • 3 weeks later...

When I was in Holland I made a point of visiting Arhem, site of one of the second world wars most valiant military blunders. The famous 'Bridge too far'. Afterwards I made the half hour journey to the tiny village of Oosterbeek where many of those killed were buried in the Allied war cemetary. There were several holders of the Victoria Cross (Great Britains Highest military decoration) among the dead and in my several hours there I managed to figure out the average age of those men was around twenty six. All except two graves. The men in those graves were in their eighties. They're last wishes had been to be buried alongside their friends and comrades who had died so many years before them. I feel no shame at all in admitting that the sight of those two graves made me cry. Thinking of them now still does.

"We few, we valiant few... we band of Brothers"

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