Tomb – 11/11/1921 – 11/11/2021

The Cenotaph
A grey slab ‘neath the Arch de Triumph.
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. :-)
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Tomb – 11/11/1921 – 11/11/2021

  1. beetleypete says:

    Powerful indeed, Frank. And very appropriate this week of course.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Don Ostertag says:

    We owe so much to so many. We have a day set aside to remember but we should remember every day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jennie says:

    One hundred years. Never forget! I was lucky to visit the Vermont Marble Museum some years ago. They carved the tomb. The marble arrived from Colorado by train, and the carved tomb was delivered to Washington by train. It was moving to visit the museum.

    Liked by 1 person

    • toritto says:

      I didn’t know that Jennie. I learned something. Thanks.
      My young wife and I would spend a couple of weeks every October in Vermont during the last 1960s. I have wonderful memories of that place.


      Liked by 1 person

      • Jennie says:

        You’re welcome, Frank. Vermont is beautiful, especially in October. I’m so glad you and your wife spent time there in the 60’s. The museum is in the teeny tiny town of Proctor. Vermont has many lovely teeny tiny towns. Driving into the town, the bridge, firehouse and more are all done in white marble. It was a sight!

        Here is Marble 101: Everything to the east of the Green Mountains is granite. Everything to the west is marble. Isn’t that fascinating? The mining of marble in Vermont is white, like the marble in Colorado. The dust from mining has no ill effects on miners. Lastly, there is an Italian artist who used the Vermont marble to carve the bust of every president. You would be blown away at what he did.

        When Hubby wanted to go to the museum, I was less than excited. It turned out to be one of the best trips.

        Best to you, Frank.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: