Literature and Poetry/
Yom Hazikaron

Archibald MacLeish

The Young Dead Soldiers

The young dead soldiers do not speak. 
Nevertheless, they are heard in the still houses: 
who has not heard them? 

They have a silence that speaks for them at night 
and when the clock counts. 

They say: We were young. We have died. 
Remember us. 

They say: We have done what we could 
but until it is finished it is not done. 

They say: We have given our lives but until it is finished 
no one can know what our lives gave. 

They say: Our deaths are not ours: they are yours, 
they will mean what you make them. 

They say: Whether our lives and our deaths were for 
peace and a new hope or for nothing we cannot say, 
it is you who must say this. 

 

They say: We were young. We have died; remember us. 

You are the living.

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