Tomb – For Memorial Day

The Cenotaph
A grey slab ‘neath the Arch de Triomphe.
Eternal flames and flowers.

Before great wars
there were no monuments
to the nameless, faceless dead;
no great tombs to the common man.

No stone edifice honored
the rotting carcass mass;
no shrines to his humanity,
the conqueror of emperors and tyrants.

Great war brings a new perception
of the human condition;
of the dignity attaching to it everywhere
even amongst the most pitiable.

The lesser tribal glories faded,
might we recognize our membership
in the greater tribe of man?
And so from the nameless, faceless mass

we chose a hero of the story;
of the decline and rebirth of despotism,
of blind leaders and deluded masses
old wrongs perpetuated and new ones imposed

of revolution leading to war
and war leading to revolution
of peace stillborn
of hopes aroused and then again betrayed

for blind we are still
to the humanity of the “other”
by embedded thought
our vision is confined.

So how better to honor
those who fed the guns
and absolve our guilt, being ever mindful  of their fate
the doomed, conscripted, nameless,  faceless ones?


About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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6 Responses to Tomb – For Memorial Day

  1. lkeke35 says:

    I think you’ll be interested to know that Will Thomas has written a fictional novel based on Jim Hercules, titled Dance of Death, which is the latest book in a series of Victorian detective novels, about a duo named Barker and Llewelyn.

    When the Abyssinian Guards were mentioned, I had the idea to look it up, and see if it was in fact a real thing, and I ended up here, at a post you wrote 7 years ago, on the subject!

    If you’re not already a fan, or haven’t heard of the series, I hope you give this a try. It’s not required to have read all the other books in the series.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. beetleypete says:

    Powerful stuff, Frank. Beautifully written my friend.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jennie says:

    Never forget.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on battleoftheatlantic19391945 and commented:
    MEMORIAL DAY=Monday, May 31, 2021@22:05-Still stands thine ancient sacrifice, a humble and a contrite heart; Lord God of Hosts be with us yet, LEST WE FORGET, LEST WE FORGET.

    Poem by Rudyard Kipling.

    At the going down of the SUN, and in the MORNING…WE WILL REMEMBER THEM, WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.


    Thank you, with LOVE, RESPECT, REMORSE, REMEMBRANCE; FOR MY FREEDOMS/PROTECTIONS, of ENEMY-FOE THE AXIS, TERRORISTS of TERRORISM, etc., Yours Aye: Brian Murza…Killick Vison, W.W.II Naval Researcher-Published Author, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.

    Blog credit: toritto…Tomb-for Memorial Day.

    Liked by 1 person

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