SINKING TO REST - Dick Raymond's Poem for December


           SINKING TO REST 
                     "How sleep the brave, who sink to rest 
                      By all their country's wishes blest."
                                         -- William Collins, "How Sleep the Brave"

There's a little-known enactment over ARIZONA's tomb, 
At Pearl Harbor, when the sun sinks low-- 
Deep down, upon her afterdeck there still is ample room 
For many urns, in elongating row.
And there they stand, united with the men who went before, 
Their shipmates of a long-departed day, 
Who perished at the outset of the great Pacific war, 
When Meatballs overcame the Navy gray.
The battlewagon shuddered with a monumental blast, 
Then bowed her foremast like a falling tree, 
She settled, proud, undaunted, as the Rising Suns roared past, 
Waving their wings in shameful victory. 
But now above her shattered hulk a white pavilion stands, 
Twelve hundred names upon eternal stone, 
Below, the Navy divers place, with reverential hands, 
The shipmates' urns, named, not to be unknown.
Eternal Father, grant to them a long and peaceful rest, 
Until the Trumpet calls us all away, 
Forever reunited in the Islands of the Blest, 
In gentle breeze, and never-ending day.


The recently-instituted ceremonial of placing the ashes of deceased survivors of the December 7th attack, in accordance with their wishes, has been movingly documented on television.

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