Upon Visiting The Wall

So many names I do not know and yet, I feel the sorrow grow
For all of those who fought the fight and who's to say what's wrong or right?
Departing heroes, praised and cheered, returned as outcasts, scorned and jeered,
And though the world would fain forget, are those who fell not owed a debt?
Some cigarettes, a can of beer...what memories do these hold dear?
Mementos of a time gone by; it's hard to see your best friends die.
The war which stole a country's young has left too many songs unsung.
I saw the children sadly view a father whom they never knew,
I watched a mother as she cried and touched the name of one who died.
With sorrow marked on every face, I saw the tears and sensed the waste.

So, after all was said and done, what was gained? Who lost? Who won?
Too many ask the question, "Why?" and wait in vain for a reply.
How stark in its simplicity, this Wall which stretched on endlessly,
But those who came to seek and find, departed with an easier mind;
A longing now was satisfied...the need to say that last "Goodbye."
Each lettered symbol was a life which tried to put an end to strife
In answer to a nation's call; thousands of names etched on a Wall.
A Wall of healing and of pain, for some returned and some remain.

To those who still live in turmoil and those who died on foreign soil;
To those yet plagued by doubts and fears and those gone long before their years;
To those whose dreams were stilled and hushed and those whose dreams have turned to dust;
To those who search their souls for truth and those who sacrificed their youth;
To those who mourn with deep regret and those who never will forget;
To those who feel compelled to roam and those who never will come home;
To those who gave all they could give and those now struggling to live,
The hope that time will grant release, in freedom's name, to rest in peace.

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