This is a story of a person who suffered because his personal beliefs were different
than those who lived in the 1600s.
I was born while on the Mayflower. My parents were seeking peace, crossing the Atlantic
before our country won its independence. I was with Paul Revere the night he warned
the people that the British were coming. I was at Bunker Hill and camped in Valley
Forge with General Washington. I was there when British General Cornwallis surrendered
his sword and we won our Independence.
I thought I could rest, but found I had to answer the call again to fight for the
young nation on Lake Erie with Commodore Perry. I was there when he said, “I have
met the enemy, and they were ours.” I was there at Fallen Timbers, and I tripped
over a rock called “Turkey Foot,” and fell asleep.
I awoke to hear a man named Abraham Lincoln calling for men to save the country from
failing apart. I fought at Shiloh and Gettysburg, and went to Andersonville where
I went to sleep.
I awoke again at the call of a man named Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders. I
was there when the battleship “Maine” blew up, thus starting the Spanish-American
War. I fell asleep charging up a hill with Teddy one day, yet could not rest, for
I am a soldier. I was awakened by a noise that said, “Over there, over there,” and
“a war to end all wars”. I was there in Verdun and Flounders Field. When the fog
came my way, I fell asleep.
I hoped I could get some rest, but I was wrong. I awoke at Pearl Harbor, on the USS
Arizona on December 7th of 1941. I was also in “The Battle of the Bulge.” I went
to sleep again before Japan was bombed with a new kind of bomb.
But my rest was not for long. I was called to Korea, fought in the Pusan Perimeter,
and I climbed many hills in Korea, such as Pork Chop Hill, and Heart Break Ridge.
I fell asleep during the withdrawal from North Korea in the Chosen Reservoir. I was
called to go help a country named Vietnam. I was on the Ho Chi Men Trail, and the
fall of Saigon. Many of my fellow soldiers, along with myself, went to sleep there.
I was awakened again by the cries of our nation under attack. This time it was on
our own land. The date was September 11, 2001. Yes, you may call me Joe, Don, or
Bob, or Jim, or Ruth or Jane, but my true name is Freedom. I am a soldier who put
his or her life on the line so that others could enjoy the freedom and peace hoped
for, many years ago on the Mayflower.
“Answering the Call” was written by an anonymous veteran who served his country during
the Korean War. He was inspired by his thoughts of his fellow soldiers, who served
their country as far back as the Civil War, yet now rest in unseen graves in the
Toledo State Hospital Cemeteries. They, like him, were hospitalized due to mental
illness during their lifetimes.