Wicked Commentary

Pearl Harbor December 7th

Any time of year it is the time to celebrate and thank our military.  This time I am printing a poem by a soldier that is so beautiful I wanted to share it with everyone.  We need to thank and honor them as much as we can for their services.  Not enough love and thanks is ever given to those who serve us.

A Different Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree, I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered; perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know. Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

“What are you doing?” I asked without fear,
“Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts…

To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light
Then he sighed and he said, “It’s really all right.
I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.
It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ‘Pearl’ on a day in December.”
Then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘Nam,’
And now it is my turn, and so, here I am.

I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures; he’s sure got her smile.”
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue…an American flag.
“I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.

So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”
“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.”

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
“Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.”

PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending
this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe.  Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq

 

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Comments on: "Pearl Harbor December 7th" (25)

  1. Gar Swaffar said:

    As a former USN type sailor, Dec 7 is one day I never forget. Thanks for the post in remembrance of it.

    Like

  2. My Dad enlisted on Dec. 8 1941 at age 26 and served 4 years in the Army. Thank you for this poem, it is beautiful and I am so grateful for all of our military!

    Like

    • FOH,

      Wow, one day after Pearl Harbor. I guess he felt obligated. Your welcome for the poem. The guy who wrote it made it so beautiful and sad at the same time.

      Like

  3. Beautiful. Have tears in my eyes. Thanx so much for posting.

    Like

  4. Excellent piece,Pepp. Thanks. We were fortunate enough to be able to go to Pearl Harbor years ago. I told my wife that if I did nothing else while in Hawaii,I was going to the Arizona Memorial. She went out with me,and while there,she saw me with tears in my eyes for the first time since we had met. I have never been as moved as I was that day.

    Like

    • clyde,

      That is wonderful to be able to see the Arizona Memorial. I love visiting things such as that. I won’t ever get the chance though. I bet it was very moving. Also glad your wife went with you. Any historical sights I love visiting and tuning into all those memories. I’ve been lucky enough to visit many battlefields here in the states and other memorials so I won’t complain about not getting to Hawaii. I get chills up my spine sometimes standing in battlefields where I knew there were once dead soldiers lying all over those fields.

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  5. Good stuff Pepp. We owe our fathers and grandfathers a huge debt of gratitude.

    Like

  6. Grouchy Fogie said:

    PepperHawk, As our forebears served before us, it is our turn now, that we pass something on to our children and grandchildren. Many of us have served, and there are those who served, by assisting those in the military, and I am remembering the nights at the USO, during the Viet Nam era.
    Thank You for this wonderful Tribute.
    SALUTE !

    Like

    • Grouchy Fogie,

      Thank you, but your tribute was even better than mine. Yes, many have served before us and after us. I’ve told the story so many other times of all the males in my family being in one war or another. And the families suffer too which a lot of people never think about.

      So, you’re a Nam vet eh? So was my brother Paul. He served in the Marines.

      Semper Fi!

      Like

      • Grouchy Fogie said:

        Dear Pepper, We all do what we can, with the material given us. And All of us honor to our ability to do so. You are CLASS. And I accept that, in that manner.
        Yes, I am a Nam era Vet, disabled. Scheduled to go over as a Loadmaster, until they found that i had broken my back.
        But I lost a Brother, and my cousins were both in Nam, and came home with Purple Hearts.

        Like

        • Grouchy,

          Thank you very much. Especially the CLASS part. 🙂

          So you are a vet but disabled. I’m sorry to hear that. Gosh, broke your back, now that is quite painful and debilitating.

          My husband who served in Korea is having all kinds of back problems so we go to a pain management doctor right now for him to get treatments. I just hope he gets some relief. He is getting Radio Frequency Neurotomy. That means the doc burns the nerves off in certain places in his back. In fact we just got his 2nd side yesterday. He’s still in a lot of pain right now.

          I’m sorry you lost your brother in Nam. You have my deepest condolences. That must have been so hard. I’m glad your cousins came home all right and with great purple hearts. My brother could have gotten several purple hearts but he turned them down. None of his Marine platoon would take any. They believed their duty was to save their brothers in war and that is all they wanted. They stress that a lot in the Marine Corps. At least they did back then.

          I have another post I want you to see. I had more time to get that one up. I’ve been busier than a one armed paper hanger. Old joke, but says it all.

          I love your dog avatar. We are maniac dog lovers as you can see as I have pics of them on the blog here. Shepherds were always my husband’s favorite dog, but about 3 years after he moved here he lost his two Shadow and Foxy. He so loved them.

          Anyway I hope you take a look at my Veterans Day post. It’s much better than this one.

          https://pepperhawkfarm.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/giving-thanks-to-our-veterans/

          Like

  7. Hi Pepp!

    This is a beautiful poem. I’ll be sending it around.

    Like

  8. Davetherave said:

    Thanks for the post Pepp! Outstanding!

    Like

  9. Excellent! I’ve always loved that poem (posted it once myself a long while ago). I captures so much in a word picture that expresses what should be in the heart of every American. Thanks for taking your turn posting it, and may you and yours have a merry Christmas despite the lousy November!

    Like

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