by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942-Sep 1945

I've heard we are passing fast,
we of wars so long past,
our time on earth
is growing short yet
we have much to say.

Oh, we could tell 
of how it feels 
to be pinned down
in a muddy field
as bullets fly over head.
Are you alive
or are you dead?

Those are the things
that many felt
as they bravely went
where angels feared
and thought naught
about retreat
but went on
to victory sweet.

No soldier, sailor or Marine
can say with honest truth
that they've not felt the fear
that comes with shot and shell
or pledged to god
in times of stress
that he will truly
do his very best if
he is granted one more day
to live upon this earth.

So all you old warriors
who have braved the 
call to arms,
rest well upon
your laurels.
You'll answer no alarms, 
your place in annals
if the past is
mostly well assured.

*     *     *
The author: Robert Lin Cook served with Reg. Weapons Co. (2d-2d) from 1942-44, at Guadalcanal and Tarawa during a 33-month overseas tour.

>>>  Poetry Page
>>>  Memoir Page
Warriors Past
Ernest Taylor Pyle (1900-1945) — American journalist, born near Dana, Indiana. He attended the University of Indiana but left before graduating. Pyle was a reporter, copy editor, and aviation editor until 1932, when he began to write a daily column as a roving reporter for the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain.

His simple, warm, human writing style was widely popular, especially during World War II. In 1944 he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in reporting for his distinguished reports from the European battle- front. One year later, on the island of Iejima in the southwestern Pacific Ocean near Okinawa, he was killed by Japanese machine-gun fire.
Ernie Pyle's grave, at "Punchbowl," the
National Military Cemetery of the Pacific, Oahu