Every now and again, my kids really surprise me. I mean really astound me with something so out of reach for their age, that I cannot fathom how they belong to me. While I’m extremely proud of both of my boys, I wanted to share this in particular.
My oldest, who will be fourteen in a few short weeks, has always loved the military. From the time he was about nine or ten, this is all he’s wanted to do. Join the USMC. As a parent, my profound motherly instinct kicked in, and I did everything in my power to dissuade him. Who wants to see their child go off to war? But throughout the years I’ve learned that I’m fighting the inevitable. It’s a losing battle and I know that now. And even though my trepidation is great, I couldn’t be more proud of the young man he is and the man I know he will become. His heart is set on this and I believe he was put here on this earth to do great things. What greater thing can you do that fight for your country?
Anyhow, he had an assignment to write a poem for his eighth grade language arts class, which he worked on over the weekend while visiting his grandparents. I was literally moved to tears when I read it, and I wanted to share it with all of you. Enjoy!
I ASK AND NOW I KNOW
by Cooper Miles
I ask myself, “Why do we fight?”
I ask myself this question now,
as I hear the BOOM of cannons.
They roar like the lions of Africa,
the only difference is that they
could take a person’s life the second
you hear them being fired.
I ask this question for a better reason,
When I first joined the rebellion I knew
that it was for several reasons.
Freedom, justice, honor, commitment,
equality, and as a Patriotic American.
“Why do we fight?”
I ask with such frustration and
contempt as the battle rages on;
That I should do something,
but I feel I must find an emotion or reason
that would allow me to do so; that even
knowing I am killing other Americans only
lead in the wrong direction,
without using my hatred towards the government,
All I have known is to hate them,
our government, for all the lies and mistrust
they have stuffed down our throats and into
our souls and minds, but at the same time
my fellow Patriots and I knew better,
so our enemy should have known that this trouble
they have now with us, they bestowed upon themselves
and that this revolution was imminent.
As for us, the people, we were the ones who
attacked, but with the idea that we would triumph,
victorious over our foes.
That the screams of, AHH, agony and the cries
of sorrow would end soon, but NEVER the screams of
bravery and courage, for what we
knew and believed,
all that we loved and cared for.
Maybe I thought it was for the red, white, and blue
we so adored, but now the flags are dyed in red from
the blood of both sides; we fight in trenches,
houses, open ground, hills, rivers, forests, and anywhere
the mind can think of where lives have ended and
blood has been spilled like cattle, slaughtered
across the fields.
Why I write about these things even though it
I do not know.
“RETREAT!” Is the word I hear now, but I choose not to;
even though I have not made a decision of why I fight
I feel the answer lies in my blood as it runs through
my veins, that it tries to jump out of my heart, and tries
to roar my soul at the tops of its lungs.
And soon I hope it does, even if it tears
me apart. Even if it sends me to my own death,
but one with a reason; a reason of true meaning.
Now I think and I dream.
I see people enjoying freedom, peace, and liberty.
But then it turns into a nightmare; people who
wish to take our freedom come and destroy it
and take absolute control for themselves; and not
for keeping order or peace, or the good cause, and
that is what it seems we,
have stopped that nightmare from happening.
Now I think I have answered my question, but with
more than one answer. I now conclude after these few minutes to
write this and to think to myself, that we fight not because
we are only Patriotic Americans, but true
Patriots. We seek freedom
to live in peace, justice where we trust
our local forces and our judicial system, and
liberty where other people trust one another; and this is
only part of why we fight.
We fight on because we not only choose to, but also
because we know we HAVE to, or all else would be
lost; what we stand for, love and protect,
and we all know we can’t lose it.
Now as I return to the battle I see real men that fight
like the devil himself; with such strength and agility, not letting
go of anything that drives them. I now know each
person had different reasons for standing up, but
we were also fighting for that; for that right to do so.
These men and women are fighting on a scale that not
even God can comprehend; that is the only way I can describe it,
and now I go to fight a war, not because I choose to, but because
I HAVE TO.