Sunday, May 30, 2010

A veteran remembers . . . and mourns

CNN reported recently that the late Sergeant James Lenihan wrote a poem about one of his experiences during World War II. It was discovered by his children after his death. Courtesy of The Writer's Spot, here's the full text of the poem.

Murder: Most Foul

I shot a man yesterday
And much to my surprise,
The strangest thing happened to me
I began to cry.

He was so young, so very young
And Fear was in his eyes,
He had left his home in Germany
And came to Holland to die.

And what about his Family
were they not praying for him?
Thank God they couldn’t see their son
And the man that had murdered him.

I knelt beside him
And held his hand–
I begged his forgiveness
Did he understand?

It was the War
And he was the enemy
If I hadn’t shot him
He would have shot me.

I saw he was dying
And I called him “Brother”
But he gasped out one word
And that word was “Mother.”

I shot a man yesterday
And much to my surprise
A part of me died with Him
When Death came to close His eyes.

This Memorial Day, let us pray that both Sergeant Lenihan, and the unknown German soldier whom he killed, are at peace with God and with one another.



Phil K said...

Amen to your prayer.

I have a number of guys who work for me that served in Vietnam that have some fairly specific issues that are common to them. I bought a copy of "On Killing" and received from it a number of insights that have helped me to manage these men and, more importantly, has given me a much greater understanding of the psychological issues surrounding the act of killing in the context of a war. I highly recommend it.

Anonymous said...

Noons said...