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Letter: Jack Buck’s poem powerful but historically inaccurate

Letter: Jack Buck’s poem powerful but historically inaccurate

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Jack Buck poem

Cardinals announcer Jack Buck, at a pregame ceremony at Busch Stadium II on Sept. 17, 2001, reads a poem he wrote to honor the fallen firefighters and policemen from terrorists attacks in New York and Washington that took place six days earlier. (Tom Gannam, Associated Press)

Regarding “Jack Buck’s powerful post-Sept. 11 poem still resonates with many today” (Sept. 9): In Jack Buck’s poem about Sept. 11, several lines stand out about our American character: “We do not covet the possessions of others;” “we have rushed to help other nations;” and “war is just not our nature.”

Historical events contradict those sentiments: American corporations aggressively seek to possess foreign resources and markets. America rushes into “helping” Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iran, and launching numerous interventions to support dictatorships. America has engaged in more than 100 foreign wars. The United States accounts for nearly 40% of the world’s total war expenditures.

Understandably, Buck presented his poem right after the 9/11 attack, but a presumed point of the Post-Dispatch revisiting this was to learn from the lessons of history, not from the statements of passion made by celebrities of the day.

Perhaps sports announcers should stay in their element of sports and not venture into making political statements that are at best contentious, if not mythological.

I prefer the poetry of songwriter Pete Seeger, who asked, “When will they ever learn?”

Jim Hanson • Collinsville


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