Ribbon and Coin for a Son

I don’t feel comfortable looking at my son
Immortalized by a black, white and red striped ribbon,
His name etched on the gold medal
The price he paid for fighting in a war he did not know.

Memories fade, but not for a mother who lost a son
In Somalia.
They call it honour,
They call him a hero;
It is personal in my heart.
Maybe they have it,
But it’s not the way I understand it –
The army killed my son.

Why do they have a ribbon, and a coin dangling,
For kids they did not raise yet kill?
Why accept the hero’s medal?

The medal is supposed to comfort me,
Say the nation will never forget:

But the nation has forgotten.


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