COPYRIGHT 2003 BY W. R. I. "EASY" SMITH

I've journeyed across the country again and again
To my hometown, place of my next of kin

I go to see them naturally
But there are deeper reasons in reality
                           
To pay respect to some special friends
While some I knew  get lost in time

These men and women are not hard to find
Almost forgotten once without a trace

Now they have their special place
First time I journeyed to their sacred ground

I heard in the depths of silence their every sound
I looked for names upon the wall


Names I tried to remember but couldn't recall
Overwhelmed in emotions so hard to bear

Each named on the granite seemed unfair
As for a moment I stood in my tracks

Reflecting in time as I looked back
I froze on the spot and could not move


All around me people seemed lost as they roamed
Up and down searching with their quiet moans

But I had come to this place and I was home
But this walk I was taking seemed alone

My heart cried out for others to hear
Why am I here and you are there?

I slowly walked  down each stone in the ground
I could hear my thumping heart sound

Voices were coming from the black granite before me
Tears steadily rolled  down my face

As being with them started a healing
I was overcome by a barrage of new feelings

My steps slowed to a turtle's pace
This time i was with an old friend for is first time


I walked before him as the journey began
Time for his healing was at hand

From the corner of my eyes i saw his tears
In my silence and stillness i hid my fears

A certain denial came over me
Something to do with my PTSD

Triggering  stuff in of my own memories
His tears remind me of my first time

As I approached the wall I started crying
Faces appeared in front of me

As I searched for names of those I've longed to see
I swell up with emotions each step I take

I touch the names inscribed within
Tracing with my fingers embraced by each of them

Deeper into the valley I stepped - at each panel i wept
A reflection of me each step of the way

I stopped in prayer to my fallen comrades
I search for words to them to say

I tell them here I am today

Because of the price you did pay

I tell them I'll never forget

I tell them you gave your all

I tell them Welcome Home!