Gentle Heroes

Major Michael Davis O'Donnell was listed as MIA while piloting a helicopter on a mission in Cambodia on March 24, 1970. His remains were recovered and interred at Arlington National Cemetery on August 16, 2001. He was a gentle hero who gave his life for his country. Here is a poem that he wrote:
If you are able,
save them a place
inside of you
and save one backward glance
when you are leaving
for the places they can
no longer go.
Be not ashamed to say
you loved them,
though you may
or may not have always.
Take what they have left
and what they have taught you
with their dying
and keep it with your own.
And in that time
when men decide and feel safe
to call the war insane,
take one moment to embrace
those gentle heroes
you left behind.

Major Michael Davis O'Donnell
January 1, 1970
Dak To, Vietnam

On this memorial day please take a moment and offering a time of silence or a prayer of thanksgiving in honor of the many who gave so much.


  1. Beautiful, Bob!

    Thank you for posting this! May the day that men decide war is insane come soon......sigh.

  2. that is a really beautiful poem Bob.
    I am glad that my children can grow up in this country where we do have so many liberties that we take for granted.
    It's sad that so many see war as a justified means to an end. Some times it may have been necessary for us to fight But for the most part I think War is insane and I hope we will see an end to it.


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