"THE TURN" THE DATE WAS JUNE THREE IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA AND GOOD SHIPS WERE ON YANKEE STATION THE OCEAN WAS CALM NEAR SOUTH VIETNAM THE "GREY GHOST" WAS SERVING HER NATION SHE WAS TAKING A STAND CAPTAIN "MACK" IN COMMAND STRONG AND READY STANDING BY FOR A CALL A SKY DARK AND CLEAR WITH AN UNEASY FEAR IN A SEA THAT WAS FOREIGN TO ALL IN THE NIGHT SO IT SEEMS WHEN MOST ARE IN DREAMS THERE ARE THOSE WHO WATCH ROUND THE CLOCK THEY STAND NEATH THE TREES THEY SAIL ON THE SEAS THEY ARE SHEPARDS PROTECTING THE FLOCK SO THE ORDER CAME DOWN THE SHIP TO TURN ROUND AIRCRAFT TO SOAR IN THE NIGHT "THE GHOST" CAME ABOUT AND THERE WAS NO DOUBT THE SHIP WAS TO TURN TO THE RIGHT A SIGNAL MAYBE CROSSED A MESSAGE SOMEHOW LOST THAT TURN, THAT TURN TO THE WIND AND SOMEWHERE IN THE SEA AT JUST ABOUT THREE THAT TURN, WOULD SIGNAL THE END THAT BIG SHIP AT HER PEAK SHE WAS FAST, SHE WAS SLEEK THE GREY SHIP SMALLER, BUT AGILE BOTH FORGED OF STEEL BOTH STRONG OF KEEL BUT "THE GHOST", NOW IT SEEMS, TOO FRAGILE THEN CAME THE SOUND OF A SHIP GOING DOWN THE SHOCK, THE FEAR, GREAT EMOTION THREE MINUTES PASSED BY AN ETERNITY SAY I AND SHE SLIPPED TO THE FLOOR OF THE OCEAN DEAR GOD WHAT A COST SO MANY WERE LOST IN A HEARTBEAT, LIKE A WHISPER, THEY'RE GONE ONE MOMENT THERE'S SLEEP NEXT MOMENT THE DEEP AND THE REST OF THE WORLD GOES ON THERE ARE THOSE THAT WILL SAY THAT SOME DIE EVERY DAY EACH DAY THAT WE GLORIFY WAR BUT THEY'RE NOT THE ONES WHO GAVE UP THEIR SONS ONE NIGHT, ONE SHIP, SEVENTY FOUR IT CANNOT BE CHANGED NOT REARRANGED IT CANNOT BE EXPLAINED AT ALL BUT TILL I DIE I'LL WONDER WHY THEIR NAMES ARE NOT FOUND ON THE WALL THE DATE WAS JUNE THREE IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA AND GOOD SHIPS WERE ON YANKEE STATION THE OCEAN WAS CALM NEAR SOUTH VIETNAM THE "GREY GHOST" WAS SERVING HER NATION

George Murphy, USS Kearsarge (CVS-33) & Linda Murphy May 6, 1999 3AM