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THE VETERAN

Page 43

<< 42. When Men Win Glory44. I Love This Man / My Soldier >>

Miami Beach 1972 (poem)

By Pat Finnegan

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We came from everywhere in America,

From the east coast, we came in heavy numbers.
From the west coast, we made a strong contribution.

From our northern United States borders,
From the Great Lakes regions,
From our southern United States borders.
We grabbed the Gulf Coast Vets along the way, on US Rt. 10

We came

From America's cities,
From America's farms.
From America's Islands,
From America's lakes and pond regions,
From America's suburbs and
From America's dwindling farmland

We came.

By car
By bus
By motorcycles and bicycles
By thumb

We Came

By trains
By planes,
and by foot,

We came.

Thousands Strong.

We Came

Mostly combat hardened Marines and Army Paratroopers.

Our America had lied to us,

Our America had used and abused us.

And now we were coming to Miami Beach to give voice and body to our anger and our rage.

Nixon wanted to be president again.

We couldn't let that happen.

Too many innocent Vietnamese screamed in our daytime nightmares.
Too many of our dead brothers,
Endlessly screamed in our every waking thought,
Demanding of us to find the unfindable valid reason for their deaths.

Up Collins Blvd,
The center of Miami Beach,
We came.

Wheel chaired brothers to the front.

American men with broken bodies and minds,
But reinforced spirits,
Chanting with their marching brothers,

"HO, HO HO CHI MINH.
THE NLF IS GONNA WIN"

We shouted it loud.
We shouted it Proud,
We shouted in with conviction.

This was not a secret, that we had to be made known.

The fact that the NLF would win was decided with the first shot fired against colonial France in 1945.

Ho Chi Minh rhymes with win,

Tricky Dick rhymes with sick.

There we were, many thousands of New York Yankee fans, season ticket holders to the man, cheering for the Boston Red Sox to win.

Some of us thought it was the Bastille in Paris in 1798, Others thought it was the Winter Palace in Petrograd in 1917.

What it was, was The Fountainbleu Hotel in Miami Beach in 1972.

The prisoners and arms are still locked up The King still rules.

Years have gone by

Now we have de-humidifiers in our basements and eat Big Macs

By the billions


—Pat Finnegan

<< 42. When Men Win Glory44. I Love This Man / My Soldier >>



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