Tran Hung Dao Trip Wreaths
"Thunder" USS Newport News CA-148 off North Vietnam October 1967 / image adapted from photo by John Glass  
 
Wreaths in the Gulf of Tonkin
 
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USS Newport News CA-148 off North Vietnam
( image from photo by John Glass October 1967 )

We Live in their Place

Written at the Gulf of Tonkin
January 2004
on the eve of laying wreaths
for shipmates lost there


But for a roll of dice cast from the hand of God,
And it would be you or I, shipmate,
Who lies still . . . and as cold as the ocean we once sailed.
We live in their place and they lie dead in ours.

Every success and even each disappointment,
Every joy and even each moment of sorrow,
Is a precious gift . . . from our shipmates who died so far from home.
We live in their place and they lie dead in ours.

Our duty to them is to live each moment fully,
To laugh, to cry, . . . to swear like the sailors we once were,
And to remember them with grateful hearts.
We live in their place and they lie dead in ours.



Carl W. Cole
James Island SC
(The Center of the Universe)
Copyright 2004 - 2006 Carl W. Cole