Michael Marks

ELEVEN THOUSAND SOLDIERS

Eleven thousand soldiers lay beneath the dirt and stone,
all buried on a distant land so far away from home.
For just a strip of dismal beach they paid a hero’s price,
to save a foreign nation they all made the sacrifice.

And now the shores of Normandy are lined with blocks of white,
Americans who didn’t turn from someone else’s plight.
Eleven thousand reasons for the French to take our side,
but in the moment of our need, they chose to run and hide.

Chirac said every war means loss, perhaps for France that’s true,
for they’ve lost every battle since the days of Waterloo.
Without a soldier worth a damn to be found in the region,
the French became the only land to need a Foreign Legion.

You French all say we’re arrogant. Well hell, we’ve earned the right--
We saved your sorry nation when you lacked the guts to fight.
But now you’ve made a big mistake, and one that you’ll regret;
you took sides with our enemies, and that we won’t forget.

It wasn’t just our citizens you spit on when you turned,
but every one of ours who fell the day the towers burned.
You spit upon our soldiers, on our pilots and Marines,
and now you’ll get a little sense of just what payback means.

So keep your Paris fashions and your wine and your champagne,
and find some other market that will buy your aero-planes.
And try to find somebody else to wear your French cologne,
for you’re about to find out what it means to stand alone.

You see, you need us far more than we ever needed you.
America has better friends who know how to be true.
I’d rather stand with warriors who have the will and might,
than huddle in the dark with those whose only flag is white.

I’ll take the Brits, the Aussies, the Israelis and the rest,
for when it comes to valor we have seen that they’re the best.
We’ll count on one another as we face a moment dire,
while you sit on the sideline with a sign “friendship for hire.”

We’ll win this war without you and we’ll total up the cost,
and take it from your foreign aid, and then you’ll feel the loss.
And when your nation starts to fall, well Frenchie, you can spare us,
just call the Germans for a hand, they know the way to Paris.

Author’s Note: While it is my greatest wish to inspire and uplift with my writing, one must be true to their heart and in this case, my ire was raised. In the wake of September 11, 2001, France took measures that adversely affected the lives and safety of American citizens and soldiers. They did so openly and with as much derision as they could muster, in some cases even desecrating US WWII cemeteries. As events unfold we now see that France continued to provide Saddam Hussein’s Iraq with military weapon systems long after US forces were fighting there, arming the men who were killing our troops. I know that no country will be loved or even liked by all and I have no naive thoughts of a flawless USA, but when the chips are down we know who are friends are, who has shown guts when others ran. As a nation we should care first and most for those who care for us. Eleven Thousand Soldiers conveyed my sentiments towards France as honestly as I could word them, as well as a quiet word of thanks for the great nations who have always stood by our side.