Butler Pennsylvania 35


















For 20 Ohio Marines
[A Tribute from Butler, Pa.]



Did you feel the wave of sympathy
surging across the Pennsylvania line
and out to you,
the families left behind?

Oh, how we know--
for your boys were here
among ours,
in our streets jogging,
in cars, in shopping malls,
in our churches, at picnics,
and High School proms,
and not too long ago
on the Fourth of July
as eager boys on Main Street
watching soldiers marching by
and even then they'd straighten
when the flag would catch their eye.

Not long ago
we watched them at gates
embracing you,
parents wives and families,
grandparents too
and young girls
who couldn't break loose,
watched them turn to leave
with head held high,
then at the ramp look back--
that last fleeting glance.

Today, twenty, they reported, have fallen--
snatched from us, our treasure plundered,
lying lifeless there on foreign clay.

We sit down beside you and weep,
mingle our tears with yours in grief.
              

14 Marine reservists from the Cleveland area were killed in the first
week of August 2005 by a roadside bomb-- one of the heaviest blows
suffered by a single unit in the war. Two days earlier six others from
the same battalion were killed in combat.