A Soldiers Prayer To His Son
Fate has caught me on this day, Death now comes to take me away; Before I give the Lord my soul to take, one last prayer to my son I make. Listen my son I speak the truth, Squander not your time nor youth; For never you'll know when your day is here, so cherish all which you hold dear. Love your family and your friends, For they'll stick with you til the end; Let burn the celestial fire inside, or to yourself you will have lied. And now my son I pray to thee, Never, ever forget me; That I died a soldier death, To keep you free with my last breath. Now to my son the truth is told, Always remain strong and bold; Always keep yourself in good standing, For to you everything I'm now handing. The torch I now give to thee, Hold it high for liberty, Let the flame burn forever unbroken; So you'll never forget the words I've spoken.
Below is a writing by Sgt. Dennis James Flanagan on the eve of his death, January 19, 2006.
All Things in Lifes Uncertainties
Things become what we dont want them to be, the best we can hope for, when all hope is lost, our minds are at war.
We sometimes wonder what it's all for; love is forever or so they say, how then did we end up this way.
All love is gone, all hearts resigned to fate.
Certain people touch our life, bringing love that ends our strife.
The time has come, my death nears, in the night, his call I hear.
If he comes before I wake, I pray to God will not me forsake.
An excerpt from a notebook:
Why is it that youth is so fragile?
What is your priority in life?
Is money more important than Life?
Is Safety more important than Freedom?
In our lives now people are re-assessing their priorities. Family, Friends and God are again returning to peoples lives. People are looking for something to believe in, they are turning to our government for relief and guidance.
My parents, relatives, friends and loved ones are all trying to understand my decision to enlist. I cannot really explain it in terms of a material thing. I am not enlisting to avenge the attacks on America. I am not enlisting for the money or benefits. I am enlisting for a more idealistic and duty bound reason.
One idea is the center piece of America: freedom. The freedom to live as one feels, to pursue happiness, and live without fear. Yes, the freedom from fear.
These attacks have demonstrated that America is not afraid. But in the back of people's minds resides a fear of another attack on innocent civilians. I dont believe anyone who works in a high rise building will be able to focus 100 percent on their work. They may constantly look over their shoulder out the windows scanning the sky for aircraft. People who board airliners will be wrought with suspicion and fear.
Fear is a parasite on a republican government. If citizens feel unsafe about doing their job because they fear another attack; because they dont feel safe in their own country, then our government will collapse. I am enlisting to protect my countrymen from fear. Freedom from fear and terror is a great feeling and it is the duty of every American to ensure this freedom. I cannot sit idly by as my country prepares for war.
Dennis James Flanagan
Written shortly after the attacks on September 11, 2001
He was 18 years old at the time.