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Brian Pohanka
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The Western Front


A Tribute to Alan Seeger

Comments by Brian Pohanka - November 12, 2001

Alan Seeger...One of the more moving experiences I had on my last trip [to France], was visiting the little village of Belloy en Santerre, off a big highway, but like many French villages sort of near ghost towns. It was just west of there that on July 4, 1916, Alan Seeger, Harvard graduate, poet, bohemian, and American volunteer in the Foreign Legion, was cut down with scores of his comrades by German machine gun fire. An elderly man was tending the war memorial, which bears Seeger's name, and as I offered my tribute to this fallen soldier, the old fellow doffed his cap and bowed his head -- then directed me to the town hall -- and I placed a photo of Seeger alongside the printed poem they had framed and hanging on their wall.... So as we conclude our little remembrance here [on the event of Veteran's Day], I will submit Seeger's poem ["I Have a Rendezvous with Death"]....

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