Will You Send Your Child to Battle?

photo of American Marines walking beside a tank in Korea for Will You Send Your Child to Battle poem












Will You Send Your Child to Battle?

Will you send your child to battle, will you send your child to war

That baby that you nourished, that baby that you bore.

The flag you love so much, will you love it even more?

If not then you should pray for peace

And pray we fight no more.


Will you send your child to battle, or is that for someone else

Will you send the gallant other ones, when you won’t go yourself

Are you big and brave and bad and bold

Or are you someone else?

If so then you should pray for peace

As though it’s life itself


 If you think you’re not a coward,

Look your baby in his eyes

And tell him he may have to die

For someone else’s lies


When politicians and rich men

Say “Now it’s time to fight,”

That war’s the only path to take

Ask them this one, if you might:

Will you send your child to battle? If not then keep the peace

My blood’s a precious treasure, my child is not for lease.

When they pile up the bodies, and count the missing limbs

Will you wave the flag and beat the drum

And hope your child’s among them?


Each generation does this; young men still love to fight

The cost of war is high indeed, it later comes at night

The horrible nightmares that even victor’s have

The horror and the sacrifice, for which there is no salve

Will you send your child to this,

This thing that men call war?

Then count me there among you, 

Where I’ll be at the fore.

But until the fight is called for, with the blood you call your own

Don’t walk tall and pick big fights, don’t take my son on loan

Seek peace, make peace, sweet peace, and choose to work it out

Will you send your child to battle?  If not then count me out.


This original poem  was written after reading the opening lines of the poem “The Kid Has Gone to Colors” by W.M. Herschell, which opens the documentary Chosin, available on Netflix and for sale here: CHOSIN: A Documentary Film by Brian Iglesias 

Chosin is a five star, heart-wrenching look at the Americans who were nearly wiped out in the Korean War Battle of Chosin Reservoir, fought from November 27 to December 13 1950. 

The original Herschell poem, written during World War I and with a much different tone, is available here.

Author: AstroGremlin

Came to Earth recently.

3 thoughts on “Will You Send Your Child to Battle?”

  1. Astro, I am torn about this one. I was in the military in the late 80’s. The country was not in many conflicts so a person could serve his country and expect no to lose his life. Today times have changed, military members are losing their life in friendly fire and more. I probably would not advise any child to put their life in danger unless they know the possibilities. Serving your country is not a easy task, that is why everybody is not signing up to do it. Great subject.
    Michael Belk recently posted..Can a narcissistic manager be a good leader?My Profile

    1. You won’t find many who love their country more than I do, Michael, and thank you for your service. Our fighting men and women are trusting the nation to spend their sacrifices wisely. We should treat them as our own flesh and blood, because they are. Thank you so much for commenting, my friend.

Leave a Reply