Jim, I finally saw your name on The Wall
I was strong and showed little emotion
It wouldn't do for a Marine to do so

I think it would have been different had we been alone
But I was busily tracing your name with the supplies provided
And there were many people about

I wonder if you were trying to tell me something
Were you saying that you understood
Were you trying to tell me you willingly took your place on The Wall
And there was no need for tears

There were those who gladly let you take their place
Those who today enjoy freedom because of you and those like you
I wonder. Do they hold their manhood cheap
Are they secretly ashamed
What do they feel when the colors pass
Do they stand proud or do they secretly feel humiliated

You stand proud, Jim
My tears for you are because of your lost youth
Because I lost a good friend
Because of your family's pain and sorrow
And maybe because of those who sent you there
Those who could never rightly take your place on The Wall

Tom Mitchell
  © 2004

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