Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Poem about Cold War Warriors

I found this poem by James S. Haynes. A great tribute to Cold War Veterans, something many of us
will remember and say YES that is what is was about.

Cold War Warrior.

September 27, 2010 by James S Haynes
A bit tongue in cheek this one, but it’s amazing how quickly the, then real, fears of nuclear warfare were forgotten once the wall came down.
Cold War Warrior.
Cold war warriors, that’s what we were,
not showered with fame or with glory.
No coloured ribbons or medals were struck
that would help us remember our story.

Then Europe was not like it is now,
united, the East and the West,
for behind a vast iron curtain
a Soviet army had massed.

Berlin itself was divided,
split by a quickly built wall,
an island in Germany’s heartland,
the West waited for it to fall.

After Kennedy facing off Khrushchev,
NATO prepared for the worst.
The nuclear warheads were readied,
we wondered who’d fire them first.
 
We waited and trained in Westphalia,
the Rhine Army watching the Red
and in NBC suits, and in gas masks,
prepared for the conflict ahead.

The Beatles played on in the Cavern,
girls screamed just to see them perform,
but we listened out for the siren,
that of an incursion would warn.

At dead of night, we’d hear its wail
and stumble from beds in the dark,
pull on our boots, grab kit ready packed
and sprint to the vehicle park.

A regiment readied, the call to mount up,
the clatter of tanks on the ground.
A radio check and a long, long wait…
Would we go? Or would we stand down?

It’s hard to imagine the world was like that
now the East and the West are all friends,
but the Cold War Warrior still can recall
his worries of where it would end.

Here is a link to his blog where you might leave him a message, or read some of his other poetry http://theoddode.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/cold-war-warrior/

 Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"

---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996