Battle of the Bulge and 9/11

Winter During the Battle of the Bulge (1944-1945)

,This poem was written by Frank Whitmarsh. It, and the one following seemed particularly appropriate to today.

After a day’s combat
I still see these scattered bodies in the snow
Lifeless wax statues
Newly cast Venus de Milos
Expressions frozen for eternity
With their nascent moments of fear and panic
Or maybe love
All to be stored in Death’s locker room
Like unaccompanied baggage.
Could these be models for
Some future Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in Paris
To be gawked at by the hordes
Of indifferent tourists?

March 15, 2015
Inspired by my experience during the Battle of the Bulge in
the Ardennes – Winter 1944-1945

Reflections on Where I was on 9/11

9/11 was one of those cataclysmic moments when
time seemed to stand on is head. In years to come,
we would ask each other where were you on 9/11 – or as
an earlier generation might ask – where were you on
12/7/41 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and
WWII was about to begin for the U.S.

As for myself on 9/11, I was leisurely walking down
the streets of Paris when I heard the news on television.
We raced to the television on time to see the second
tower collapsing with our first thoughts naturally being
the safety of our loved ones.

Who, why, where, when became our collective
stunned amazement.

One of the things that struck me was the outpouring
of affection that the French had for the Americans. We
were all together and the spirit of Lafayette prevailed.

Frank Whitmarsh

As for me, living in Connecticut, with young children, I saw the entire
horrific nightmare again and again and again.  My family and friends
would point out details the others might not have seen.  There was a
shock that rippled through the entire country.  No one really felt safe.
We, in our insular, isolated country found out yet again how easy it
really was to touch us.  The fervor of patriotism stirred and all I could
do was feel grateful my children were too young to engage in the
battles about to ensue.  I wanted to volunteer, to give my best, but
respiratory issues kept me away from Ground Zero. And increasingly we are finding the enemy is within – we need look no further than out our doors.
God must be shedding huge tears watching the nightmare below.
I honor those that lost their lives that fateful day. And tremble for
the days to come.

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