Hall of Warriors

by Mike Hemming

The door massive and plain swings open easily at a touch. All are welcomed to enter that have served. Nothing more is asked, for those that enter, gave without asking. They enter and rest among their own kind.

Over 100 years of men that gave, some having given all, are here. Those that were lost as pioneers from the beginning, welcome the new arrivals. The pioneers know that their sacrifice is remembered and honored. Those that followed, built and hold on to that tradition that they will never forget those that led them.

The 3,500 are here, the forever young, standing a little apart but not aloof from the rest. For they know they were chosen only by the fates. They faced their fate knowing that the others would have done the same as warriors. As such, all newcomers are treated as equals. There is no bitterness in this place about where the great wheel of life came to rest for those that fell.

The 500 are here too, those that gave all in an undeclared war. They were lost in peacetime and a war cold and undeclared. For in the dangerous realm they lived, the fates can take the life force from their bodies as quick as in a war. They too are now at peace in this hall.

The great doors of the hall allow no pain to enter for those within. Their time for pain and suffering is done. The sting of death is over and never will be repeated. Bodies and minds are whole here, whatever horrors befell those warrior's bodies are gone, leaving no trace.

The old ones enter too, those that served and lived long after. They are honored by those that fell, for all are equal here. Here the old ones are happy to be among other warriors once again.

Stories old and new of great battles fought against men and ships are told and retold. Ones of battling the storms of the surface and the great pressures of the cold black depths. These men know of the dangers being all around their small vessels. Fires and flooding worry them no more. No more dangers to face, they are at peace.

The warriors remember riveted iron or welded steel hulls where they lived and some died. Ships rusting on the bottom or scrapped and rebuilt and honored with a name of one lost. Names spoken with reverence and honor. For these warriors never forget the sacrifices that have been made by all.

Again the great door swings inward, the warrior having seen the small sign, enters. The sign that says,

Undersea Warriors enter and rest among your Brothers.