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This song started out being about the Vietnam Memorial. Then the context of The Wall continued to expand on me, until I found myself with a song about death, not just Vietnam or The Wall or even war, for each death steals from the living.

"Can't see over" is the simple scale of the Vietnam Memorial. It is not a small monument.

"Emblem built of symbols" is that this emblem of a most unpopular war is composed of the symbols (names) of the people lost to that war. So the Wall is a symbol made of symbols to represent the event that has come to symbolize division in the U.S.

"Sons vanished in the ground" is that, while we still have these symbols, the people have fallen into this gash in the earth.

"Walk in the sunlight" is that we who are above ground, and can still move, find our travel halted by this barrier. We cannot go where these people have gone without leaving this world.

"The questions get vague answers" means the resounding question of 'why did we die?' hears no clear answer like a Nazi empire of genocide.

"But the Wall demands reply" means the question of purpose will not go away, because The Wall is constantly asking the question by virtue of its very existence. The Wall's existential question.

"Lesson thrust" was that their potential was being taken from us all. At the moment they saw death come for them, they had to realize their dreams would come to nothing, that the dreams of their family and friends would remain unfulfilled. Also, that they were in this situation because they answered a demand that they put their lives on the line. The verb was chosen because of it's connexion with bayonet.

"Was it all for this" is that when the mothers were little girls, dreaming of the children they would have someday, did they dream about children growing up just enough to die on alien soil? Did our nation tell them why the lives of their children were acceptable losses? Were they given anything in exchange for those little-girl dreams that had come alive being suddenly turned into weapons and then into dust?

"Stone is embossed" is that the people are far too complex to fit into names carved in stone. The runes are far too small to contain the potential these people carried with them to the grave.

"Don't know what to say" is the fact that we are just now getting far enough away from the war to see it, and to begin to comprehend the magnitude of our loss, especially when the foe we failed to stop with their blood has largely fallen of its own weight. It's possible we've learned something from our loss. But in some ways we will never know what to say, because a cure for cancer or AIDS may be carved in that stone, unrecognized. Perhaps a Martin Luther King or Einstein or Mozart.

"At least recall". After the war, as I was coming of age, it seemed our nation wanted nothing but to forget; forget the war, forget the soldiers, forget the names.

With The Wall, we will at least remember the names.


This song is about the war predator, and the governments that wage war. Among the host of evils that lead to and are spawned by war, the greatest is the squander of the human potential lost on the bloody fields, both of those killed bodily and those destroyed in the soul.

We consider some people obstacle things, the enemy, and will go so far in our efforts to destroy these things that we will risk the sacrifice our own children in the attempt.

War is an important, though repugnant aspect of our world. A whole person understands there are seasons when to fail to go to war is an evil, such as W.W.II, and other seasons where going to war is the evil course.

To those who believe war is always wrong, I would like them to consider a realization that came to me while watching the movie, "Glory". I wondered at those men charging that fort, because they had seen the carnage that characterized the Civil War. Why had they worked so hard to get into this war? Why did they advance? Then I realized. War is horrible; slavery is worse.

For those who take exception with characterizing war as "important", simply try to write an even marginally comprehensive history of the world that makes no reference to war or its consequences.

 
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Prior Description Song 4 DESCRIPTION - The Dark Wall Next Description
Home Page Works Series 1-Quest To Be Whole Album 1-Predator Song