Posted by Nick F. Stamatis on July 30, 2010
U.S. Army photo by Spc. Daniel Herrera/Released.
In May we posted a poem by a now deceased World War II veteran named Sgt. James Lenihan, in which he expressed his torment about killing a German solider during the war.
Our post was picked up by CNN, and Lenihan’s son Rob was asked to share the poem with viewers and soon became a part of our national dialogue surrounding Memorial Day. Hearing from readers across the world, it was our mission to help people reflect, share and connect with others who have been affected by similar issues and provide resources to help them.
Army veteran Nick Stamatis, almost 70, was one reader who wanted to help. He posted a poem in the “comments” section of our blog, in response to Lenihan’s poem. Stamatis later told us that when he heard Rob Lenihan read his father’s poem on the news:
“I nearly broke down…. I had the feeling that I needed to give voice to the dying soldier and give Sgt. Lenihan some comfort…. I felt like this guy was carrying this wound with him his whole life…. I thought, I gotta give Sgt. Lenihan some help here.”
We are reposting Lenihan’s poem, along with Stamatis’ poem as a response – we hope this sharing brings comfort to the Lenihan family and the many other warriors and families dealing with or experiencing war’s spiritual wounds. You are not alone.
A Warrior’s Poem: “Murder — So Foul”
By: Sgt. James Lenihan, World War II veteran (1921- 2007)
I shot a man yesterday
And much to my surprise,
The strangest thing happened to me
I began to cry.
He was so young, so very young
And Fear was in his eyes,
He had left his home in Germany
And came to Holland to die.