Editor's note: This poem was written by Raymond Stephenson, who is the father of Tonganoxie resident Jan Shoemaker, who submitted the work. Mr. Stephenson, who now is 86 and lives in Phoenix, served in World War II. This poem was written by then-Ensign Stephenson, a radio operator, while on board the liberty ship, Nathan S. Davis, in the Pacific Ocean.
Why did we join the Merchant Marine,
Why not stay home and be serene.
Because if England fell, my friend,
That would also be our end.
We did no more than others did,
For damn sure, we never hid.
We departed from our home and hearth
For us, the dearest place on Earth.
And if once again, we're called to sea,
Those of us who are left will all agree,
As our fathers fought before us,
We'll go again with no big fuss.
And if once again we're called to sea,
There's no place we'd rather be.