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Local Reflections on The Wall That Heals

In Memory of John Edward Ray

June 17, 1932 – May 13, 1969

By Lee Ray

It’s been so many years now Edd since you were taken away

   From the ones who truly love you

To this very day.

   Betrayed by our own country,

With no will to see the war through,

   We lost so many brave – brave souls

So many just like you.

If I seem a little bitter brother

   Well, I suppose that I am

So many families were torn apart

   By their so-called “conflict” in Vietnam.

From a ship on the briny foam

   I saw bombs and artillery explode from afar

I knew without a doubt

   Their “conflict” was indeed a war.

June 17th is your birthday Edd

   You can’t be here to celebrate

I will be and I will see it through

   Without animosity or hate.   

For I know that is what you would want

   From your family and your friends,

Just a kind thought of remembrance

   Of what was and could have been.

More Than Just A Name

By Lee Ray

I have been reading your old letters today Edd

   The ones from the war to Mom and Dad. 

They brought back a lot of memories 

   Many happy ones – others mighty sad. 

Then I went for a walk in the woods

   Same old hill you loved to roam, 

I cried when I thought of how you died, 

   In a land so far from home. 

June 17th will be your birthday Edd

   Just 70 short years of time. 

We lost you long ago – killed in action May 13, 1969. 

What I’ve got to say Edd is this 

   From the memories your little brother recalls,

You mean a lot more to me brother 

   Than just a name on a cold, cold wall.