In honor of Veteran’s Day
I Stalk the Battlefields
By Jan Ackerson
My name is Death; I stalk the battlefields. In war after war, it has been my goal to be victorious, to finally conquer that spark in Americans, that longing for Freedom and Justice and Truth.
While the soldiers fight with their weapons—their bayonets and hand grenades, their missiles and tanks—I fight with mine. I have attempted to win my victory using the swords of fatigue and injury. I attack with bullets of apprehension and ambush. These are the weapons that have been issued to me. I have had millions of victims—but still the victory eludes me.
I thought that I had won in Gettysburg and Shiloh. So many bodies, all mine—but Freedom and Unity won that war.
I claimed tens of thousands in the trenches of the Western Front—but National Pride claimed the heart of the country.
In Africa, Europe and the Pacific Ocean, I snatched victim after victim. Young men and women fell into my grasp in record numbers. Why, then, was the victory given to Heroism and Nobility?
I tried again in Korea. I thought that surely a war-weary nation would finally cede the battle to me. Imagine my rage, then, when Bravery and Courage claimed the prize.
Vietnam was a feast for me. Daily I gorged on the fallen, sensing that at last I had conquered the nation’s spirit. But in America, there sprang up a greater love of Justice; I was defeated once again.
Now I patrol the deserts of the Middle East. A flick of my finger, and another Marine goes home in a wooden box. But as hard as I work, I can see Peace waiting impatiently for me to rest. I am weary, and afraid that my victims’ families will see in those boxes not me—not Death—but some nobler creature like Faith or Truth.
I want nothing more than to earn the title of Meaningless. Meaningless Death: those words spell triumph for me! But as the number of my victims grows, I find it maddening that their sacrifices somehow become more meaningful, not less.
I suspect that my Enemy has greater weapons than I.
Jan is a Christian who has traveled through sorrow and depression, and has found victory and grace. She dedicates all writings to her Heavenly Father. Check out Jan’s website at http://www.1hundred-words.com
Copywrite Jan Ackerson–2006
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