Let’s Talk About: “Just A Piece Of Tin”

Just a piece of tin, lying in the dirt.

To the finder it meant nothing, to a family, more hurt.

For removal and return proper steps were to follow.

To a community back home more pain, grief and sorrow.

A journey of  time and in decades lost

Of a round trip in miles and of the thousands it cost.

Of the man who had worn it so many of us knew,

A young man on our streets just like me and you.

Of a life never lived, or adventures untold

Of one life to give, a young never to grow old.

Just a piece of tin, lying in the dirt.

I photographed this  poem framed and on the wall in a museum back east while on a trip. It was penned by Charles Stage, 30 May 2016. It quite touched my heart and I saved it to share with you in our “memorial month.”  

Ask Google if you’d like to know more fascinating history of U.S. military dog tags. 

****Bet you didn’t know this “dog tag” trivia: People in the 1950s lived under constant threat of nuclear war and had tags made for their elementary age school children in districts across the U.S. New York City was the first public school system to issue the “identification tags” in Feb 1952, spending $159.000 to provide them to 2.5 million students. 

One comment on “Let’s Talk About: “Just A Piece Of Tin”

  1. Kathleen Weddle Sizer says:

    Thank you Donna for a timely blog as we near Memorial Day. My father was one of the lucky ones and my grandma was blessed to send off 5 sons into World War II and have all five come home (Army, Navy, Merchant Marines). Uncle Alvie was at Pearl Harbor 7 December, 1941. My father August Edward Weddle was career Navy and served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. We have his dog tags and he lived until he was a month shy of 93.

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