I am the wall of soldiers lost
And I have a job to do.
I'm here to testify to the cost
Of holding the Red, White and Blue.
Red for the blood, white for the tears,
Blue for those left alone.
Together they stand for all we hold dear..
For the finest country known.
And what do you see when you look at me
All covered with names of our dead?
Do you see them fighting gallantly
On battlefields covered with red?
Do you see the face of every widow?
Do you see each shattered home?
Do you see a baby's face in a window
Waiting for Daddy to come?
See each widow who lost her man;
We all must bear the shame...
For all of her future, each unfulfilled plan
Who else is she to blame?
And the children for which my men did fall,
For which they fought so long---
Does the future hold another wall
With the names of my mens' sons?
See each mother who nurtured with love
Each father filled with pride
All the years spent raising their gift from above
Til he fought for his country and died.
See the survivors who lived through the hell,
Who fought side by side with my men.
Were wounded and crippled and shattered themselves,
Yet fought on again and again.
So I am the Wall of soldiers lost
But it isn't that simple, you see...
For in my surface, smoothed and glossed
Is America, great and free.
Written for Williard M. Shannon, USAF Ret