The day is warm,
the sun shining,
a soft breeze is blowing,
the fall colors are in their glory.
Yet on this Georgian hillside,
a heaviness is in the air,
and an unseen stirring
leaves ones very being wounded and torn.
The sorrow of thousands of souls
are calling to the living.
Suffering is felt
on the whispers of the breeze.
It is told
by tall oak trees standing sentinel
over long abandoned wells,
dug to escape, bone chilling cold, starvation,
the blazing Georgia sun, disease
and above all the burning desire for freedom.
It is spoken in
built to keep others at bay
with the weapons of war.
Had I not been told the story of this place,
. . . all is not well
would still have been whispered in my ears.
stones stand is perfect rows,
dedicated to the men who
died at this beautiful place,
now tarnished by cruelty and suffering.
The feeling in my heart and in my soul
It is their bodies
now rest in the red Georgia clay
but their souls still linger
within the stockade walls,
and this is what they wish to tell us,
if we will but listen.
"Let our deaths
not be in vain,
make sure this happens Never Again!"
" Dear brethren who walk here today,
allow not yourselves to war
against one another again,
stand united and strong
against that which ails your
country and fight together as brothers should,
not divided, desolate and alone."
"Let there no
longer be the like of
Andersonville, Douglas, Belle Isle or Elmira.
Let no man hold a brother captive again.
So as you leave
May you leave in peace
and may you Never let us be forgotten ."
November 5, 2000
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