There is one front and one battle where everyone in the United States—every man, woman, and child—is in action and will be privileged to remain in action throughout this war. That front is right here at home, in our daily lives and in our daily tasks. Here at home everyone will have the privilege of making whatever self-denial is necessary, not only to supply our fighting men, but to keep the economic structure of our country fortified and secure during the war and after the war.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s radio broadcast to the nation, April 28, 1942

Wednesday, May 4, 2011




The American flag
drapes the coffin.
Another serviceman lost.
Another mother childless.
Another wife a widow.

The number of stars
on the flag can’t even come close
to the number of souls
who will never be born,
because this one American is gone.

I try not to think about it.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Photo courtesy Library of Congress.


Linda B said...

But your poem causes the thought anyway. I think of all those days missed when I read of another service man or woman lost. My father died in WWII, and I missed siblings too.

Diane Mayr said...

I'm so sorry to hear your story. I hope my poem hasn't made you too sad. I actually wrote it with another photo in mind, but decided that perhaps that photo was too heart-wrenching to include on the blog.

Anonymous said...

Diane, this is beautiful. Sad, yes. But sad poems are some of my favorites. This feels like a moment to pause, think, be sad for who was lost and grateful for who came home safely.

Marion Eldridge said...

Sad, but so important. I agree, Diane, this is beautiful.

I'm Jet . . . said...

a sad remembrance of what could have been . . .