This clip is an excerpt from The National Memorial Day Concert that aired on PBS on Memorial Day, 2012.
In his first major television appearance since “NYPD Blue” ended its 12-season run in 2005, Dennis Franz confirms “it’s very meaningful to me, on many levels” to be involved in the concert.
“I’ve been asked to read the story of a Marine who was in Vietnam, and it tells not only about the terror and confusion and loneliness and all the other emotions — not to mention great fear — one can imagine experiencing over there, but coming back and trying to make the transition to life at home without complete acceptance. At that time, the country was pretty anti-Vietnam War, so I can relate to that very much.
“My story ends on a happier note,” Franz adds, “but unfortunately, many of the homeless vets who are alive now are roaming the streets and trying to find shelter. The first time I read this, it brought back many of the experiences I was going through at the same time.”
Thank you, John Klice, for sending me this poem:
THE BATTLEFIELD OF LIFE…
“In the end, we need to know –
it was not really about a cause…
or a country…
or an institution…
or a branch of service.
It was only about you
and the warrior next to you.
And you should confirm in your hearts
that the sacrifice you made
for each other
will not be casually dismissed
by shallow people
or revisionist history –
neither of which
will ever be able to meet
a fraction of the trust or
commitment that you
(at tremendous costs)
the battlefield of life.”
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