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Marine Poem – We Will Never Forget

Every year I teach my sixth graders about veterans and those who are still serving our country. I have a special place in my heart for the Marines. My Dad served on Iwo with the fifth division. My pride in him and in the rest of you is immense. Thank you for what you have done.

To my Dad, Sergeant Jack Watson
By: Susan

I remember Veteran’s Day parades. Standing bundled up with my dad, a big, tall proud Marine. There was so much more to your story. Thank you for letting me in. I think it started with a hymn. Not just any hymn, not just any place. It was with your teenage buddies, encircling a radio, after “lights out” at St. Xavier’s. It was the Marine Corp Hymn. You were a patriot. And then America was attacked. You were determined to defend your country, our country, the freedom that stands today. Many nights have passed since that time. Many days have been lived, carrying some of the black sands of Iwo Jima in your shoe. You can’t ever shake out all of the sand. This day is for you, for you as a patriot, for you and your comrades, standing and fallen, because like sand in our shoe, we must never forget.

You march on,
Day to day
Building and rebuilding,
Remembering and trying to forget
Sorting and swaying.
Writing and erasing.

Celebrating and sobbing.
Robbed of your youth,
Rocketed into manhood.
Loyal and questioning.
Sorting and swaying.

Straddling the comfort of a wife, children, grandchildren,
And emptiness of comrades whose names may have faded,
But eyes you’ll never forget.
Sorting and swaying.

Why Marine, why?
For us, two generations away.
So that we can remember,
So that we can never forget.
Sorting and Swaying.
You, we will never forget.

I love you.
I am indebted to you.
I am proud of you.

Susan 11/11/04

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