Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans' Day, 2009

A Print

When I first saw the print below, I stood before it gazing and remembering my friends who have died in military service. It took me a while to save the money to purchase it, but I did and it has been on the wall of four living rooms since then. I still stand at gaze at it--and remember.

A Gift

This little bear was given to me by the staff of Home Instead, who the Veterans Administration contracts to provide my 9-hours-per-week caregiver.

A Tradition

Since I first heard Canadian Terry Kelly's song, A Pittance of Time, I have incorporated it into several blog posts. Please. take a moment-- a pittance of time-- to watch it. OK?

A Soldier’s Prayer (Dedicated To All Who Serve)

The soldier stood and faced his God Which must always come to pass...
He hoped his shoes were shining Just as brightly as his brass.
"Step forward now, you soldier, How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek? To My Church have you been true?"
The soldier squared his shoulders and Said, "No, Lord, I guess I ain't...
Because those of us who carry guns Can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays And at times my talk was tough,
And sometimes I've been violent, Because the streets are awfully tough.
But, I never took a penny That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime When the bills got just too steep,
And I never passed a cry for help, Though at times I shook with fear,
And sometimes, God forgive me, I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place Among the people here...
They never wanted me around Except to calm their fears.
If you've a place for me here, Lord, It needn't be so grand,
I never expected or had too much, But if you don't, I'll understand."
There was a silence all around the throne Where the saints had often trod...
As the soldier waited quietly, For the judgment of his God,
"Step forward now you soldier,
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."

(Author Unknown)

A Dream (and a Hope)
: Pete Seeger & Theodore Bikel

Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream

words and music by Ed McCurdy

Last night I had the strangest dream
I'd ever dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war

I dreamed I saw a mighty room
Filled with women and men
And the paper they were signing said
They'd never fight again

And when the paper was all signed
And a million copies made
They all joined hands and bowed their heads
And grateful pray'rs were prayed

And the people in the streets below
Were dancing 'round and 'round
While swords and guns and uniforms
Were scattered on the ground

Last night I had the strangest dream
I'd never dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war.


  1. Wonderful, poignant post Nick, thank you. The framed picture you saved so hard for is perfectly lovely. x

  2. Nick ... can you tell us more about that framed picture please?

  3. ABOUT THE PRINT: The print is by U.S. artist, Lee Teter, who is best known for his paintings and prints depicting the American West. The print is entitled Reflections. You can read the story of the painting HERE.

  4. Daffy: Thank you. I worked hard on this post. It was truly a work of love, as was saving to purchase the print, Reflections.

  5. Dancing on a Blade of Grass: My first comment, above, concerns the print. I may add that I have read that there are more than 200,000 copies of Reflections in circulation.

  6. On first glance I thought it was the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC... I remember going there in August 1993 ... it was twilight and it was a hugely emotional place to be.... I've just found my diary entry about it... "On this day it was the birthday of Peter Stewart, who never returned from Vietnam, but flowers and a card were there for him. .... "

    Thank you Nick. Thank you too for bringing my attention to the artist of this outstanding picture.

  7. Dancing on a Blade of Grass: Your first glance was absolutely correct: it is the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. -- "The Wall."

    Thank you for sharing the memory of your visit to The Wall.

  8. Happy Veterans Day Nick! Thank you for your service.

  9. I'd hug you if you were close by.

    Terry's song is a tradition in my house. It is played every Remembrance Day.

    My affection for Pete Seeger is great. I remember listening to that song as I prepared for BlogBlast for Peace.

    A few years ago, I took my daughter to my Nation's Capital on Remembrance day. She walked up to a group of WWII veterans (men who served at the same time as her Papou) and shook their hands. They beemed. And so did I.

    Thank you for your service, Nick. God bless. And happy St Martin's Day as well.

  10. I wonder if our strange dreams will ever come true...

    I didn't see the Vietnam Memorial until a couple of years ago. It's such a beautiful, yet stark memorial.

    Thinking of you, thinking of all vets whose lives have been touched by war, thinking of those who are not with us today because of war.

    Much peace, much love.

  11. Nick,thank you for this posting.Thank you for your service.

  12. Lovely post Nick and I really like that print you have on your wall.

    Thankyou to all servicemen and women who have served/are serving their country. God Bless you all and we will not forget.

  13. this was truly a labour of love and all your efforts worth it

    we must never forget and we must teach our children

  14. Very nice post for Veteran's Day. It's always sad to think of those who have given so much for us. They are remembered.

  15. That picture of the man leaning against The Wall is powerful.

  16. Dangit...I hit publish before I finished.

    Thank you for your service.

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  18. Thank you, Captain Saintly Nick, for this great tribute to Veterans Day. I salute you, Sir!