I would extend that request to say that, no matter if you’re landlocked, don’t forget the heroism of “those who go down to the sea in ships, who sail upon great waters.”
They were the first to defend our country, and have never failed her.
Having served at sea in the USN, I doubt that the captain used the term “sleep with”.
A friend of mine served in the 60s aboard a destroyer that had been at Okinawa. He said that it had been relieved early from its duty station by another destroyer, that would be going home after its turn...the destroyer that relieved them was subsequently hit by two kamikazes and sunk.
Thanks for this. Yes, the brave Navy personnel lost at sea are too often overlooked.
Peace to all.
The Men Who Sail Below
Now each of us, from time to time, have gazed upon the sea,
and watched the warships pulling out, to keep the country free.
And most of us have read a book, or heard a lousy tale,
about the men who sail these ships, through lightning wind and hale.
But there is a place within each ship, that legend fails to teach
it’s down below the water line, and takes a awful toll,
a red hot metal living hell, those sailors call the hole.
It houses engines run by steam, that make the shafts go round,
a place of fire, noise and heat, that beats your spirit down.
Where boilers make a hellish heat, with blood of angry steam,
and molded gods without remorse are nightmares in your dreams
Where threat from the fires roar, is like living in doubt,
that any minute, would with scorn, escape and crush you out,
where turbines scream like tortured souls, alone and lost in hell.
Those men who keep the fires lit and make the engines run,
are strangers to the world of night, and rarely see the sun.
They have no time for man no beast, no tolerance for fear,
their aspect pays no living thing the tribute of a tear.
For there’s not much that men can do, that these one’s haven’t done,
below the decks, deep in the hole, to make those engines run.
And every hour of every day they keep the watch in hell,
for if the fires ever fail, their ship’s a useless shell.
When warships meet to have a war, upon an angry sea,
the men below just grimly smile at what their fate may be.
Turned too below, like men fore-doomed, who wear no battle cry,
it’s well assumed that if they’re hit, the men below will die.
Foe every day’s a war down there, when the gauges all read red,
six hundred pounds of heated steam will kill you mighty dead.
So if you ever write their song or try to tell their tale,
the very words will make you hear, a fired furnace wall.
And people as a general rule, don’t hear of men of steel,
so little’s heard about this place, just inches from the keel.
But I can sing about this and try to make you see,
the hardened life of men down there, cause one of them is me.
I’ve seen these sweat soaked heroes fight, in superheated air,
to keep their ship alive and right, though no one knows they’re there.
And thus they’ll fight for ages on, till warships sail no more,
amid the boilers mighty heat and turbines hellish roar.
So when you see a ship pull out, to meet a warlike foe,
remember faintly if you can “the men who sail below”