Archived Story

Poetry written by veterans will be compiled

Published 1:00pm Thursday, December 6, 2012

Veterans and non-veterans alike, who have ever written a piece of poetry by or about veterans’ experiences, or know of someone who has, are invited to bring it to the ITOW Veterans Museum Friday, Dec. 7.
That day, which commemorates the 71st anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, seems to me to be uniquely suited as a day to remember veterans of all eras.

Selections from the collected poems will be compiled in a blog that everyone will be able to access online and print.
Perhaps more than any other event of the 20th century, Pearl Harbor signified a moment in time when the entire country became united in their concern for the brave men and women who served in the armed forces.
For me, the poem that captures some of the feelings shared by many in the wake of Pearl Harbor is this one by Walt McDonald.
The winter they bombed Pearl Harbor
“All winter peacocks screamed, strutting the same slow pose. At dawn, we smashed the ice with hammers, dumped pots of boiling water steaming into troughs for beaks of preening peacocks. They shoved each other off like cousins bunched at the only mirror at church.
My logger father whittled a forest with buzz saws, the roar and buzz of steel and mosquitoes more than my ears were tuned for.
My sister and I played keep-away with feathers, dazzling the surly turkeys and peacocks with footwork, lobbing frozen dirt clods like grenades, until our father called us.
When roads were frozen, I jockeyed the throttle of a John Deere rusted before the war, hauling logs and hay bales to farmers miles away. The war was almost lost
when my father enlisted, Pearl Harbor bombed, the fall of Bataan all we heard for hours on every station at night, except for our parents talking softly after bedtime and peacocks screaming in the dark.”
— By Walt McDonald

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