Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday's Poetry: "Sunset Vigil"

by Pa Rock
Poetry Appreciator

Sergeant First Class Kristoffer B. Domeij, an Army Ranger, was killed by an IED in Afghanistan last Saturday.  Two other soldiers were also killed in the incident.

SFC Domeij, a veteran of ten years in the military (joining just two months before the attacks of September 11th, 2001), was a husband and father of two young daughters.  The family lived in San Diego, California.

Domeij was part of the team that freed PFC Jessica Lynch after she was captured by Iraqi forces in 2003.

During the ten years that SFC Domeij spent in the Army, he deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan fourteen times, making him the most deployed individual to be killed in the wars in the Middle East up to this point.  Most of his deployments were relatively short, usually 105 days, but those short tours were deployments of high intensity with the Rangers participating in operations almost on a daily basis.   SFC Domeij spent a combined total of 48 months in combat – or forty percent of his entire time in the military.

A couple of years ago when British Staff Sergeant Andrew McFarlane, who was also serving in Afghanistan (his second tour), learned that eight of his comrades had suffered battlefield deaths in a twenty-four hour period, he sat down and penned the following poem.  It is a somber message that speaks to the awful nature of war and death.  It is also a fitting tribute to all who have sacrificed their lives in the futile endeavors that are Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sunset Vigil
By Andrew McFarlane

The news is spread far and wide
Another comrade has sadly died
A sunset vigil upon the sand
As a soldier leaves this foreign land

We stand alone, and yet as one
In the fading light of a setting sun
We've all gathered to say goodbye
To our fallen comrade who's set to fly

The eulogy's read about their life
Sometimes with words from pals or wife
We all know when the CO's done
What kind of soldier they'd become

The padre then calls us all to pray
The bugler has Last Post to play
The cannon roars and belches flame
We will recall, with pride, their name

A minute's silence stood in place
As tears roll down the hardest face
Deafening silence fills the air
With each of us in personal prayer

Reveille sounds and the parade is done
The hero remembered, forgotten by none
They leave to start the journey back
In a coffin draped in the Union Jack

1 comment:

Xobekim said...

"Last Post" is as beautiful as "Taps" yet is its own distinctive bugle call. You can watch and listen to it on YouTube at: