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Or Forever Hold No Peace
Oder für immer keinen Frieden halten


World War II Memorial, Washington, D.C.

275 words

“We lose 1000 WW II veterans every day. Take a moment to share your stories.” — Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, tweet, June 6th, 2011

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” — George Orwell

There’s so much that you could say, isn’t there,
Old friends? And not many of you left who
Remember the truth, all these years later.
Plus, you don’t know who would listen to you,
Do you? Know this: we will. So, will you few
Clear your wrinkled throats, and start to express
How it was? Will you, who are dying next,

Now give us, who are living now, some thing
Real of the truth, your own truths, all the bits
That make up which truths are worth the sorting
Out and telling? Your own black sun still hits
Our shoulders every day. We know what fits
The stories that are whispered, but we don’t know
The truth. We know that. So, before you go,

Before you and your comrades leave, and our
World forever loses you, please listen
To this: we want to listen to you. For
You have something we may never again
Have the chance to know your truths. And when
You die, if you leave silently, we’ll be
The lesser for them: your lost truths that we

Could use to know ourselves. Will you please tell
Us — will you please share every unsaid thought
That will help us find what’s true, and what’s well
And truly fiction, from what is just not?
Do not die without passing forward what
You know about your time, that bright time when
Hope stood gladly with you, Europa’s men.