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Your black granite shows my face,
As I read your names,
Names of 58 thousand uncles.

They are all my uncles.

I never knew them, or from where they came.
But once they called dad:


They laughed, and cried, and didn't sleep.
They shared the sweetness of love,
And the terror of the sting of battle.

Four million, nine hundred ninety nine thousand,
Nine hundred and ninety nine,
Went before dad and followed him.

Why? They didn't know.
Why did they fight?

Not for God and country,
Not for mom and apple pie,
They fought for each other.

Thank you my faceless uncles.

I salute you in the uniform you passed to me,
I touch your faces when I touch black stone.
I feel your spirits, hoping your many nephews
And nieces need not sacrifice their lives.

I am proud to be among you,
And that you are dad's

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by: Sgt. Robert W. Hughes, USAR

© 1999

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