One starry night on Okinawa,
Guns and men were still;
A young Marine was standing duty
On a lonely hill.

The battle ever carries on....
Two months it's been by now....
All dead exceeding ninety thousand;
And he wondered how....
How all the slaughter could continue
Under God's domain?
How long are minds of men expected
To endure the pain?

First Saipan.... Iwo Jima next,
He'd seen his buddies fall....
And, now again, on Okinawa....
No let up at all.
And was there any reason why
'Twas them instead of him?
Perhaps a reason, somewhat subtle....
More than just a whim.

On that occasion, then, he wondered
Why he felt so odd....
He had a realization....
As he felt the hand of God.

A vow was made that night in June
Of nineteen forty five:
A vow to God by that Marine....
If he got home alive:
He'd make a contribution felt
Among his fellow man.
He'd work to serve his country well,
According to God's plan.

It's forty years, now since the vow
Was made that night in June....
From his career in Government
He'll be retiring soon.

As people come to know him,
They may speculate on how....
He made a contribution.... and....
If he has kept his vow.

(June 1985, Falls Church, Virginia)


About Frank V. Gardner


Frank, born in Washington, lived his early years in the small community of Glencarlyn, across the Potomac River from the Nation's Capital, in Arlington County, Virginia. After his father, Francis I. V. Gardner, died in a construction accident. his mother, Marie Gardner, moved with Frank, age four, and his two sisters, back to Washington, where she went to work as a clerk-typist for the U. S. Government. Frank attended elementary and high school in Washington. After completing two years of college in 1942, Frank enlisted in the U. S. Marine Corps to fight in World War Two. After boot camp... Read more...

Poet of the day

George Gascoigne was an English poet, soldier, artist, and unsuccessful courtier. He is considered the most important poet of the early Elizabethan era, following Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey and leading to the emergence of Philip Sidney. He was the first poet to deify Queen Elizabeth...
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Poem of the day


Ta robe lente, pas à pas, soulève et traîne
Un bruit de feuilles d’or et de roses fanées,
Et dans le crépuscule où finit la journée
L’automne est las d’avoir entendu les fontaines.

Si tu passes le long des eaux vastes et vaines,
La statue, anxieuse...
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