Monday, May 25, 2020

The Price For Your Today Was All Of Their Tomorrows

"If you are able, save them a place inside you,
And save one backward glance when you are leaving,
for the places they can no longer go.

Be not ashamed to say you loved them,
though you may, or may not have always.
Take what they have left, and what they have
taught you with their dying, and keep it as your own.

And in that time that when men decide, and feel safe,
to call the war insane, take one moment,
to embrace these gentle heroes you left behind."

- Major Michael D. O'Donnell
KIA, Cambodia, March 1970


Pam Feeley said...


RandyGC said...

To Absent Companions...

FredLewers said...

No comment. Because sometimes words are just clutter.

Robert said...

Thank you for the post Aesop. The pics and the Major's words were moving. A regular work day for me today; I hope yours was uneventful. A local grocer put out a "Happy Memorial Day!" flyer; I'm sure my colleagues got tired of me bitching about it.

Robin Datta said...

If the killer thinks he kills and if the killed man thinks he is killed, neither of these apprehends aright. The Self kills not, nor is It killed - Katha Upanishad 1.2.19

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Katha Upanishad verse1.2.19

Bhagavad gita 2.19

Borepatch said...


Ave atque vale.

Reltney McFee said...

Thank you.

Barb said...

Grateful for this chance in the sunlight, thank you! to the ones I loved and those I could never know.

Unknown said...

James Whitcomb Riley's poem "Away."

It's a very good one.


Knightsofnee said...

Gary Owen brother. 1966, 1st Cav. Div. 2nd Bat. B company. Panel 8E on the wall. KIA, 19 yrs old, medic, Silver Star and others, Spec E4, the oldest of 7 of us.

Concern said...

Thank you for that posting of Major Michael D. O'Donnell's poem. I haven't heard that in a long long time. It is a moving tribute.

admin said...

Umm one of those pics was a Brit...

T said...

I think your former fellow Marine puts it well:

Here's the link to his Youtube main video channel:


Avalanche said...

Tommy by Rudyard Kipling (in case y'all don't know it)

I WENT into a public 'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away" ;
But it's " Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap.
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes," when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` "Tommy, fall be'ind,"
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!

Aesop said...


None of those pics was a Brit.
The full lineup is Army/Marines, with Navy chaplain/Army/Army/Marines.
The 4th pic is a member of the 82d Airborne Div.
They wear maroon berets.

But even if it had been a Brit, so what?
They've shed far more blood alongside us than they ever shed against us, so I think they're entitled to share some of the honors and remembrance for the fallen on the day.