05/28/2007 01:11 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Old Glory at Sunset: A Memorial Day Remembrance

May 28, 2007
Sunset Beach, North Carolina

Almost motionless, then ever so gently,

The stars and stripes furl and straighten.

As the evening breeze displays her, slowly...

To the west, the setting sun does not hasten.

The bay is at high tide, the green marshes lush,

Over the scene, there hangs a discernible hush.

She languidly floats, twirls, swings, and waves...

On a day in Baghdad, another handful their lives gave.

"I just do not understand," the grieving mother said,

"God and this war," for what are these boys dead?

The molten disc is dropping, soon to majestically disappear;

For this historical tragedy, let us all bow and shed a tear.

While watching the talk shows (and ball games) on a tranquil Sunday:

Warnings about August...after one hundred fell in the month of May.

See the dancing flag on the wind reflected in the tv screen:

If only, if only, this invasion and occupation had never been.

Rainbow colors adorn the sky, small craft cavort in the bay...

Observe the sailing vessels gliding on the intracoastal waterway.

But what about the young men, in Mesopotamia, far away?

For our freedom, we are told, the penultimate price they pay.

Except for the agony of news items, what else have we sacrificed for the cause?

Why, our integrity, our treasure, the city on a hill, and the moral high ground.

And, of course, all this while playing the hegemonic role of "America unbound"...

Forever, and forever, may this desert folly give our armies' commanders pause.

As for accountability, only every four years, at election time?

Founding Fathers stuck a "scarecrow" in Articles one and two:

Removal from office upon conviction of high crimes...

Nevertheless, subject to later trial and punishment, too.

That includes the Vice President, by the way...

The insurance policy that keeps on giving to this day.

There must be a limit to accumulated crimes against the State;

Beware, would-be autocrats, judgment will not necessarily wait.

William E. Jackson Jr.