So we’re a week away from Rolling Thunder XXV, and I’m reminder by recent news articles just how important it still remains that every year we highlight the issue of MIA/POWs. Whilst the Vietnam War is still a big presence hovering over the event, the MIA/POW situation is still important because there is at least one live soldier who is not yet home - Bowe Bergdahl.
Politics aside, whether you’re in favor of the war in Afghanistan or not, pro- or anti-military, liberal or conservative, please remember next weekend whilst you’re all enjoying your Memorial Day barbecues that there is at least one service member who won’t be with his family, won’t be watching TV … Please, give a moment of your holiday weekend to give him your thoughts and remember those “rough men [who] stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do [you] harm”.
And so I repeat this poem (no laughing please) I wrote after Rolling Thunder many years ago.
Poetry is not my strong suit, but on the way home from Rolling Thunder in 2006, I kept having words turning and in the end let them have free reign to come out.
When I originally wrote this, a friend who wrote for a biker magazine on the West Coast suggested it be submitted, and it was accepted and published that same year.
I apologize the poetic style isn’t what you’d consider very good – but not for the words and what they mean.
Steel Voices © miika 2006
Honour, and steel, winds blow as we ride,
though those who sent us would rather we hide,
politics forgotten, we put them aside,
we come for our comrades, and honour and pride.
gladly we served, gladly we fought,
for those who needed us, for those who sought,
freedom and life, to live in safe port,
released from terror, and life peril fraught.
hundreds of thousands, steel voices cry in pain
hundreds of thousands, steel voices cry in shame
our children are home? how many remain?
for those that came home, nothing’s the same.
steel voices raise up, our rallying cry,
asking the guardians, why? oh why?
we did not object, we knew we may die,
but to rest at home, those guardians deny.
everyone comes home, this we all knew,
but those given peace, there are so few,
betrayal and abandonment, if only we knew,
so we raise steel voices, so you now know too.
harden our hearts, lest we forget
those who served, without a regret
and sit ye at dinner, this day that you set
a feast of celebration, with friends well met,
remember the fallen, and those who weep,
for loved ones still missing, no word not a peep,
and when this night you lay to sleep,
think of those, your freedom do keep.
bring them home, alive or dead,
do not allow them to languish in dread,
“everyone comes home”, it once was said,
remember those words, and those whom they led.
celebrate life, but on memorial day,
hear our steel voices, as we ride to say,
our comrades will come home, we pray some day,
regardless of the price for which we must pay.
honour the fallen, those who paid the price,
in deserts or swamps, or yes fields of rice,
return our children home, why must we ask twice?
listen we pray, this pleading precise.
for they are our legacy, those ones who stood tall,
risking their life, lest freedom would fall,
raise up your voices, every one and all,
let “everyone comes home” be your call.