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February's Fallen

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The Soldiers
There they go, off to war,
Leaving loved ones, whose hearts are sore.
Children weep in their mothers' keep,
As they hear their fathers' leaving feet.
Wives and mothers cannot speak,
Watching them leave makes them feel weak.
But, they know they must be strong,
For they might hear the bells toll,
Dong, dong, dong, dong,
And sincerely hope that they are wrong,
That their beloveds, whose love they've won,
Will return to them when all is done.

- Amy Allison, written when she was 12 years old.

May we take a moment to linger over each of the following names--their ages, where they lived, envisioning what each might have left behind, imagining the dreams that died alongside them.... Whether one is for or against the war on terror that these courageous young men and women were fighting in, they deserve our attention, acknowledgment, respect, appreciation, and mourning. May they rest in peace. And someday, in the not too distant future please, may we learn how to live in peace.

In Memoriam

Army Spc. Eric R. Sieger, 18, of Layton, Utah

Army Sgt. Maj. Michael C. Mettille, 44, of West St. Paul, Minnesota

Marine Cpl. Richard O. Quill III, 22, of Roswell, Georgia

Army Pfc. Kenneth T. Butler, 21, of East Liverpool, Ohio

Army Pfc. David C. Armstrong, 21, of Zanesville, Ohio

Marine Gunnery Sgt. Terry J. Elliott, 34, of Middleton, Tennessee

Navy Hospitalman Matthew G. Conte, 22, of Mogadore, Ohio

Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jason G. Defrenn, 34, of Barnwell, South Carolina

Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Keith Yoakum, 41, of Hemet, California

Army Capt. Kevin C. Landeck, 26, of Illinois

Army Staff Sgt. Terrence D. Dunn, 38, of Houston, Texas

Army Spc. Alan E. McPeek, 20, of Tucson, Arizona

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Debi Smith lives in Ashland, Oregon. She welcomes your thoughts, comments, and observations.
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