Paying Respect

We must not forget the cost of fighting... the lives of the brave men and women who serve and aim to protect lives.

COMMENTARY

On August 26, 2021, 13 US troops took their last breath after being attacked at Kabul Airport. These were brave men and women who dedicated their lives to protecting a sacred treasure: humanity in the form of love, liberty, and happiness. They are military disciples whose spirits will live on in the hearts of their families and the many lives they touched during their service.

I hope this poem emboldens reflection as we pay homage to the fallen 13.

13 Disciples

Men and women decorated with valor.

Carnage from bombings leaving the fallen with faces of pallor.

Stewards of freedom and humanity may we remember your sacrifice.


Soldiers clothed in raiment bedecked with grace

American vessels scorched knowing their loved ones cannot be replaced.

Stewards of mercy and altruism may we remember your sacrifice.


United States troops embraced God’s precious youth.

Twenty years protecting a country still in search of identity and truth.

Stewards of advocacy and resilience may we remember your sacrifice.


Thirteen coffins decorated with red, white, and blue.

Tragedy has deflated hearts seeking an antidote for war flu.

Stewards of patriotism and perseverance may we never forgot your names.

Dr Clark is associate professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine - Greenville and medical director and division chief for Adult Inpatient and Consult-Liaison Services for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Prisma Health - Upstate. He served on the American Psychiatric Association’s Task Force to Address Structural Racism Throughout Psychiatry, and he currently serves as the Diversity and Inclusion section editor and advisory board member for Psychiatric TimesTM.