Memorial Day, 2011

If you are able,

save for them a place

inside of you,

and save one backwards 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 left

and what they have taught you

with their dying

and keep it with your own.


And in that time

when men feel safe and decide

to call war insane,

take one moment to embrace

those gentle heroes

you left behind.


Maj. Michael Davis O’Donnell

1 January, 1970

Dak To, Viet Nam

May God, in His infinite wisdom and loving mercy, see fit to bless our nation, and allow us to be worthy of their sacrifice.

In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.



  1. 1

    I have tearsin my eyes, and a lump in my throat. That was beautiful. On this, and every, Memorial day remember our fallen comrades in arms. And remember it as well when and if we must stand on our OATH once more.

  2. 2

    That, btw, is not another link to my post. That is something else far more inspirational, I think. Easily as.

  3. 3
    Mike M growls and barks:

    Those are powerful words, rendered even more poignant by the fact that Major O’Donnell himself became one of those “gentle heroes left behind” when he courageously and selflessly tried to save the lives of several of his fellow soldiers.

  4. 4
    LC Jackboot IC/A growls and barks:

    Dangit- The windstorm here in Tejas stirred up dust in the house.

    Superb Crunch, just Superb.

    Thank you, kind Sir. :em04:

  5. 5

    Response to Mike M @:
    Thanks for that background on Maj. O’Donnell Mike. Until today I knew next to nothing about the man other than that he wrote the poem. A remarkable example of bravery and love of his fellow soldier, made even more remarkable by its commonality among his fellow warriors.

  6. 6
    irish19 growls and barks:

    Got dusty here, too.
    Beautiful post!