Honestly, I don’t want to talk about the fallen 44, how they were killed, how they could’ve been saved, how they gathered their courage to go to battle, how their families wanted justice very eagerly, how the people and government looked for the one to blame, how the media reported different side stories about the massacre, how the public have criticize the president, and how the death of the fallen 44 have become the turning point of the government and the lives of every Filipinos.
I want to write a different article because I can’t stand reading news, opinion, and other related articles about the Fallen 44. I came across a deep realization on how my essay would run. I started typing “a soldier’s letter”. I’ve searched for it in Google and amazingly, Google gave me a lot more than I could ever imagine. After browsing each website, I’ve noticed a video and I have decided to open it. I was delighted by a guy playing a guitar and started singing “Conversion”. The story behind it is quite remarkable.
The lyrics come from one of the most popular poems of World War Two, Frances Angermayer’s “Conversion”. Frances Angermayer of Kansas City, Missouri was the author of this poem, “Conversion”, written in 1943. Denver Darling set it to music for this recording in nineteen forty-five. It tells the story of a soldier in a foxhole saying his very first prayer to God.
On D-Day a catholic chaplain found thirty copies of the poem on fallen US soldiers. Translated versions were also found on German soldiers.
Denver Darling was best known for his patriotic war songs like this one,
The Chicago Tribune published a great interview with Ms Angermayer, including the poem and a picture of her, on Nov. 10, 1957 describing how she had come to write the poem and the impact that it had made during World War II.
The song goes like this:
A Soldier’s Conversion
By Frances Angermayer
Look, God, I have never spoken to You–
But now–I want to say “How do You do,”
You see, God, they told me You didn’t exist–
And like a fool–I believed all of this.
Last night from a shell hole I saw Your sky–
I figured right then they had told me a lie.
Had I taken time to see the things You made,
I’d known they weren’t calling a spade a spade.
I wonder, God, if You’d shake my hand,
Somehow–I feel that You will understand.
Funny–I had to come to this hellish place,
Before I had the time to see Your face.
Well, I guess there isn’t much more to say,
But, I’m sure glad, God, I met You today.
I guess the “zero hour” will soon be here,
But I’m not afraid since I know You’re near.
The signal! Well, God, I’ll have to go.
I like You lots–this I want You to know–
Look, now–this will be a horrible fight–
Who knows–I may come to Your house tonight–
Though I wasn’t friendly with You before,
I wonder, God–if You’ll wait at Your door–
Look–I’m crying! Me!–shedding tears!–
I wish I’ known You these many years–
Well, I will have to go now, God–good-by,
Strange-since I met You–I’m not afraid to die.
The message of the song is very moving. It talks about the conversation of a soldier to God.
In line with this, I’d also like to dedicate something to the unsung heroes of our country, a prayer.
Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. May their cause be just. May their leaders have clear vision. May their courage not falter. May they be triumphant to earn victory as they show mercy to our enemies.
May their efforts bring lasting peace. May their sacrifice be always appreciated by those they serve. May they return to their loved ones unharmed. Should they be harmed, may their wounds heal? Should they perish in the struggle, may God embrace them and find for them a place in His Kingdom.
This is how I end my article.