Photos Courtesy of National Geographic
The Wall

© 1984 by Tim Murphy

On a drizzly D.C. morning, in the middle of July,
My brother brought me downtown to the Mall;
Past the watchful eyes of Lincoln, ‘neath a weeping summer sky,
We crossed the street to the little green and visited The Wall.
I remember I was nervous then, I guess a little scared,
‘Cause I wasn’t sure how I’d react at all
To see the names of the servicemen who’d been recorded there:
Who’d heard the final roll call and assembled at The Wall.

Chorus:
And every name’s a father or a husband or a son,
Or a daughter or a brother or a cousin to someone;
Or a name might be a classmate or a friend you may recall:
There’s nearly sixty thousand fallen names still waiting at The Wall.

The Wall is many granite sections, solid, cool and black.
A visitor may pause to touch a name;
It just seemed that in the dark reflections, hands were reaching back,
As if to greet and touch and hold the hands of those who came.
Someone might stoop to leave a rose, a letter, or a poem;
A message to a young man loved and lost,
To show they still remember those who never made it home:
Who built The Wall so long and tall, and paid the bitter cost.

Chorus:
And every name’s a father or a husband or a son,
Or a daughter or a brother or a cousin to someone;
Or a name might be a classmate or a friend you may recall:
There’s nearly sixty thousand fallen names still waiting at The Wall.

As I watched the lines of people that walked by in slow parade,
I read a different story in each face;
And I couldn’t help but wonder at this pilgrimage we’d made,
And what common bond, if any, might have brought us to this place.
There were tourists, and the curious, and some Veterans who came,
Still others who sought an answer to it all;
But the only thing I’m sure of is: we left not quite the same,
With our memories alive and well, and waiting at The Wall.

Chorus:
And every name’s a father or a husband or a son,
Or a daughter or a brother or a cousin to someone;
Or a name might be a classmate or a friend you may recall:
There’s nearly sixty thousand fallen names still waiting at The Wall.

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