Memorial Day in America is a day set aside to Honor Veterans who have passed away and especially those who were killed in battle. So I dedicate this poem and verse to my Dad Edward Gordon Palmer, (Feb. 11, 1930 – May 13th, 1995) Rest in Peace Daddy. Living Veterans including myself get their special day on November 11th which we in the United States call Veterans Day.
Who Knows My Story or My Song
America You Know Not My Story Nor My Song.
Black, African, Native American, Asian, Hispanic.
We wore OD Green, camouflage, Dress Greens.
Now I wear a different uniform.
Once you saluted and proudly hailed my years of service with snarky sweet platitudes.
Now you curse and revile me. A Woman. A Man. Those Who proudly served Our Country have become less than the grass and dirt under our feet but remember it was we who cultivated your Land. The Land to which we shall all return. The Land We call America.
When?! When America will you see that Brown face as you sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, mothers & fathers.
I Love You America though you still don’t Love me. I Love you so much that even without the strength of my youth I would gladly serve you again for my ancestral bonds run deep within your soil.
Though you try you can never eliminate me or others like me for we are the fabric of human society. Creators of multiple galaxies and universes. We shall Live Forever.
Double V for Victory
Back in World War II Black soldiers fought for Double Victory. Victory overseas and Victory over discrimination and racism at home. As you well know African Americans have proudly served our country during all its conflicts despite never getting any recognition and returning to a country that despised us.
My Dad Edward G. Palmer served during the Korean War. Fortunately he did not go to Korea otherwise I would not be here today but Dad in his own way fought for Victory back home. I still remember my parents quietly talking at night about lynchings, the KKK and the murders of Civil Rights Workers. I was supposed to be asleep but I silently left my room to find out what they were discussing.
Dad hoped that my generation would have it better. There was some change thanks to the Civil Rights movement but even today Victory at Home is an elusive concept for Black Americans.
Just the fact that a few days ago some of us had a discussion on how we have to protect our developmentally disabled sons and brothers from being shot by the police speaks to that.
Some were killed in the various wars. However some died fighting for Victory here at home. A level playing ground eludes us. Every day racism and for women sexism and ageism will and has killed more of us than any war on foreign soil. I’m in that latter group.
As my Dad used to say, “The more things change. The more they stay the same.
If you’re African American you will understand the Double Meaning behind this song. Think Black Moses aka Harriet Tubman.
I’ll Fly Away – Delois Barrett Campbell & The Barrett Sisters