America the Free ~ America the Brave ~
Freedom with price Capitalism attacked
the many taken hearts broken still
one World try to rebuild
sadness and tears fall hard with fears
guilt by association many accused still
souls evaporated shattered dreams
tears fall on innocence left with anger
The proud fearless knew the inevitable
policeman fireman many lives lost
grieving does not stop 12 years later
New York city once proud & shameless
refusing to let fears in protecting ours
left in shock still question's unanswered
nothing learned nothing gained
ready to attack many left behind
anger greets denial anger meets rage
unacceptable still refusing new love
wanting days to rewind let us go back in time
acceptance allowing the victims leave in peace
the brave taken young leaving us sadly old
haunting dreams lost spirits dwell
no answers to hate never forgetting that day
Evil entered suddenly unforgiving fate
entering our City we stand with the fallen
How to fix how do we Change
This can be read many different ways ~ This is a poem I am so proud to write ~
I do not know?
(special thanks to a friend who shared this tribute to Solomon Mahlangu)
Solomon Mahlangu: My Blood will Nourish the Tree that will Bear the Fruits of Freedom:
Solomon Mahlangu was trained as an MK soldier with a view to later rejoining the struggle in the country.
He left South Africa after the Soweto Uprising of 1976 when he was 19 years old, and was later chosen to be part of an elite force to return to South Africa to carry out a mission commemorating the June 16th 1976 Soweto student uprising.
After entering South Africa through Swaziland and meeting his fellow comrades in Duduza, on the East Rand (east of Johannesburg), they were accosted by the police in Goch Street in Johannesburg.
In the ensuing gun battle two civilians were killed and two were injured, and Mahlangu and Motloung were captured while acting as decoys so that the other comrade could go and report to the MK leadership.
Motloung was brutally assaulted by the police to a point that he suffered brain damage and was unfit to stand trial, resulting in Mahlangu facing trial alone.
He was charged with two counts of murder and several charges under the Terrorism Act, to which he pleaded not guilty.
Though the judge accepted that Motloung was responsible for the killings, common purpose was argued and Mahlangu was found guilty on two counts of murder and other charges under the Terrorism Act.
On 15 June 1978 Solomon Mahlangu was refused leave to appeal his sentence by the Rand Supreme Court, and on 24 July 1978 he was refused again in the Bloemfontein Appeal Court.
Although various governments, the United Nations, International Organizations, groups and prominent individuals attempted to intercede on his behalf, Mahlangu awaited his execution in Pretoria Central Prison, and was hanged on 6 April 1979.
His hanging provoked international protest and condemnation of South Africa and Apartheid.
In fear of crowd reaction at the funeral the police decided to bury Mahlangu in Atteridgeville in Pretoria.
On 6 April 1993 he was re-interred at the Mamelodi Cemetery, where a plaque states his last words:
‘My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom.
Tell my people that I love them.
They must continue the fight.’
Mahlangu died for a cause!
The Struggle Continues…
(special thanks to a friend who shared this tribute to Solomon Mahlangu)
Beloved, lovely roses: gift of God and lover’s flower,
Spread your colored petals and cradle tender showers.
While admiring the blossoms with their beauty to behold,
Ought we not to know the Tender of such lovely garden groves?
For He lovingly and thoughtfully wields His pruning shears
To cut away the stems of old for fuller future years.
He cultivates and feeds them. He attends them as a Father
Looking daily to their needs; so faithfully He waters.
From the dawn of morning dew until the setting sun arrays
Caring always for His own until that great appointed day…
When the Gardener comes to claim each one the earth held as its own.
He gently picks it at its peak and for His pleasure takes it home.
As God did one glorious morning, when the Perfect Rose had bloomed.
He rolled away the stone and met with Mary at the tomb.
There the sweetest Rose of Sharon rose that we die not alone.
But be gathered for a garden grove, surrounding heavens throne.
The Old Salt was a special man who came along in a time
when he was needed most.
A time that is now gone forever.
When men believed and sacrificed, when hero’s walked the earth in mass.
When patriotism was not just a word
by what men lived and judged the worth of each,
a man who lived a life most of us cannot comprehend.
An era now gone as this warriors tour of duty ends at this station,
and begins anew in the heavenly fleet.
Sail on Sailor into your unaccompanied tour,
we salute you.
What greater honor, that when a man moves forward,
he leaves behind in each of us the best of what he was.
A defender, protector, supporter, victor, a warrior,
the last of the breed from an era when ships were made of wood
and men were made of steel.
The Old Salt has reported for duty that takes him away from us for now.
Those of us who remain behind,
remember, and will continue to remember,
because he now resides forever in our hearts.
As I look up at night, I envision The Old Salt,
a beret draped just above the eye,
as he draws upon his pipe,
quietly he waits.
The guardian of heaven’s gate.
An old man looking out his door,
gaze fixed on a distant shore,
reminiscing to a time, not of happiness,
or, the prospect of a bright future,
to when he was sick to his very core,
to when as a youth, he went to war
A time before infallibility had meaning,
patriotism and bravado the craze,
the future was still unknown,
vigor for life at its all time high,
a time for romance, partying, buying,
no thought of pain, deformity, dying
Too young to understand or question,
ship to foreign shore, medals abound,
will impress the girls next time in town,
sacrifice not temporary,
a legacy etched into a wall, few will remember,
flesh shredded, burned, torn,
A time, when he willingly went to war,
will happen no more,
all lost in youth, now unrelenting,
no blind obedience,
long life, his number one ambition
As he turns back from the door,
he thinks of the youth,
here now, soon no more,
lessons never learned,
the call to war,
to common the roar,
complacency the mood,
another generation removed
The old man agonizes
over what was originally not known,
war is preventable,
life too precious to waste,
the solution simple,
his vision, maybe too late
Send old men to the front to fight,
arthritis, heart disease, poor eyesight,
let the youth enjoy their life,
his near over, its only right
Send old men, to the front, to fight
ask them to give up their life,
patriotism and bravado, still alive,
will and desire would not last the night,
old men do not rush to death in their twilight,
failure inevitable, the old man smiles,
knows he's right
Wars not possible,
if old men, are sent to fight
Running, after more than you, can hold.
Taking, someone else’s love, and leaving.
Children are fearful of what they’re told.
Can’t you see I’m the one who’s freezing?
I was just a child with a trinket
Never knowing that it’d be, more to me
When you were gone to, too far, from me.
Steady with your hands close to my heart
Never letting our world’s tear us apart
I know, your icicles
I miss the beaches that we played on
You missed the child in your own eyes
Now you’re gone,
But I’m still not here.
Why can’t you wake up
I’m not ready
Please, just take your time, don’t leave now
I can’t fight this world alone.
Remember those who died for us,
They left their families to save us,
They died and went to heaven.
Remember the twin towers,
They once were there but now are gone,
Remember those who went to work,
Who never came home.
Remember the God who gave us life,
Who can save us from death,
Remember He’ll never leave our side,
In sickness and in health.
They left their family to save us,
They died and went to Heaven,
Remember those who died for us,
i wittnessed a war just yesterday,
being the reason for much dismay,
i'm sorry for all the death and blood,
and all the soldiers in the mud,
i wish i could stop it just can't be done,
i'll need everybody including a nun,
i'll need jesus to forgive our sins,
that knock us down like bowling pins,
i'll need everybody to read this poem,
in hopes that all the soldiers get back home.
A poem by John Nesbitt © 22.11.2013
I was eighteen years old and wanting to fight
I found what I looked for, in bars late at night
I took on the big guys, the small ones as well
They were all tough, as far as I could tell
As a jobless young man, proud of my country
I joined up with the army and trained how not to be
They told me I’d fight to keep us all free
So that we’d never have to bend the knee
They trained me in weapons, unarmed combat too
The use of explosives and what they could do
And how to take cover behind rocks and trees
They taught me to find bombs and those I E D’s
So step up to the plate boys, start waving the flag
We’ll be all draped with medals when it’s all in the bag
Think of the glory, this conflict will bring
A few months away, then we can all sing
On my very first mission, I was told to unwind
I took lead position, when searching for mines
The blast threw me up twenty feet in the air
I couldn’t feel my feet for they were no longer there
My right arm was shattered my left fingers gone
I once had two ears but now only one
I thought I was dying, I couldn’t hear a thing
I wasn’t thinking of the medals or being dressed up with bling
Now all I can do is sit here on the floor
and wonder what it all had been for
my comrades call around from time to time
I can see their discomfort when they’re thinking of mine
They wouldn’t trade places, no matter what for
They each have their memories, of that terrible war
My fighting days over, no more blood and guts
So I’ll settle right down in my terrible rut
I stepped up to the plate boys and I waved the flag
But I’m not draped in medals and it’s not in the bag
I thought of the glory the conflict would bring
No legs, no fingers and in no mood to sing
Things soon will be over in Afghanistan
Talks are on-going with the Taliban
We struggled against them for thirteen hard years
But all we produced was billions of tears
Fathers lost sons and Mothers lost child
business got rich, there were deals on the side
Where’s the next country they’ll start a new war
Let’s hope….. it’s…. not ….yours
Below is my original post from 2 weeks ago, President Obama has
announced that VA Secretary Shinseki has resigned "voluntarily" from
his position, but let's face the fact the President fired him behind closed doors
so that Shinseki could save face and save Obama from more embarrassment.
Yet, this resignation does not relieve the President from his personal responsibility
for the deaths of these veterans, and in his statements today he did not personally
apologize and ask forgiveness from the families of the dead veterans, this whole situation is criminal, instead, he just railed on about how
wonderful Shinseki was, how much more disgusting can this get? Obama thinks he can just fire the Captain of the sinking ship
and everything will be OK? These crimes against veterans have been blatantly ignored for over 5 years now, and when it comes down to
who is ultimately responsible? Well, Mr. Commander-In-Chief, as Harry Truman said "the buck stops at the President's desk", so you need
only to look in the mirror to see who needs to accept full responsibility for this tragic VA disaster! Mr. President, as you know, my father Albin was President for 36 years of the California AFL-CIO, and before he passed away in 2009 he was a big supporter of your 2008 Presidential Campaign, and I can tell you now, he would be so disappointed with you on this VA debacle. He was not just my father, he was my best friend, and one of the finest human beings I have ever known, let alone probably the greatest champion of all workers in the USA and the world, and I know he would ask you now to take immediate and decisive action to prevent anymore of these terrible acts of neglect to our brave veteran heroes!
Very truly yours,
Robert William Gruhn
(posted 05/15/14) Here Lies Veterans Administration Washington D.C. 2014
This government bureau and its chief secretary Shinseki refusing responsibility.
40 Arizona veterans died while on shameful death waiting list.
Chief saying he's "MAD AS HELL", to senate hearing then doing nothing.
Well, Mr. President, its time to fire your VA chief and apologize for this failure.
These brave veterans have been allowed to die needlessly while on your watch.
You need to get a spine and do what it takes to save any more VETS from this horror.
So, Mr. Commander in Chief Obama, please show us you truly are our LEADER.
Copyright © 2014 Robert William Gruhn A.R.R.