Daddy, Why Are the People Crying?

vietnam (2) copy

Daddy, why are there names on the wall?
They are Americans killed during the Vietnam War.
Daddy, why do the people touch the wall?
To touch the wall is to touch the dead.
Daddy, why are the people crying?
The dead are touching them back.

© 1989 Stephen Bruno

I wrote this poem at the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., on Veteran’s Day 1989 during my first and most significant visit. I watched many people at the Wall tracing names, touching names, and staring off in reflection. After experiencing the same for myself as a Vietnam Veteran, I wrote this poem at 3 AM. I pictured my daughter, Kelly, as the child asking the questions.

Blessings to all of the veterans of all wars, their families and loved ones, MIAs, and the ones who gave their lives.

 

4 comments on “Daddy, Why Are the People Crying?

  1. chefjanalee says:

    Touches me every time! Thank you for sharing this with us. 💜💜💜

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Shana Dean says:

    This is my favorite poem ever, so poignant, powerful and yes touching. (Pun intended) Bless you for your service to our country and for the service you continue to provide to your clients and students and to the world. And bless you for offering discounts and special care to your fellow veterans. You’re a gift! Welcome home.💜

    Liked by 2 people

  3. aeolosgia (Giacinta) says:

    “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief… and unspeakable love.”
    ~Washington Irving

    Liked by 3 people

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