The Official Writing Challenge
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This is wonderfully done. The meter was so perfect, reading it was very smooth.

The only problem I found was making the connection between the bayonet in the back and the marching. It bwecame clear later that it was a forced march to the concentration camp, but I didn't get it at first.

Other than tht, It was a very readable story. In fact, I went back and read it a secand time.

Good job!
This gave me chills as I was reading it; then I was thrilled when the good news came at the end. There are so many wonderful messages tucked within the lines of this beautiful poem. I'm thankful for our soldiers who endured such hardships on behalf of freedom. I'm thankful for the Word and for every mother who teaches her child the value of learning verses, as did my own.I'm thankful, too, for the joy that comes from sharing God's Word and how lives are changed from hearing it. Your well written poem really did make me think.
What a powerful, moving, imploding poem. I felt these men out there, dealing with the effects of war, death, and new life in Jesus. Gave me shivers and right now it is about 80 degrees!
Wow! What a story! I read it twice, not for clarity. It was clear the first time. I read it twice because it stabbed me in the heart. The word picture was so clear. What awful things the men went through to make it so that we could live in a "free" world, a world where we need not be afraid to worship where and when we like, and to be able to pray without fear. I really don't know what to say about this poem. It leaves a lasting memory, and makes us thankful for all that the service men and women went through(then and now) to make our country free...And what a mother the soldier had, to teach him to hide God's word in his heart...What a story...Amen...Helen
The message of this beautiful ballad is needed now more than ever. I'm always delighted to hear of youngsters memorizing God's Word, whether at AWANA or at the knees of their parents. This story gives good reason, preparation for life's journey.

I'm just a bit perplexed at the cold being suffered in the Philippines. Perhaps during monsoons it gets more chilly. (I found Manila to be the hottest place I've ever been :)
I like poems that tell a story as this one does. So many suffered the atrocities mentioned here.
To know scripture is such a blessing when fighting any battle and certainly worked well for many prisoners.
great writing.
Wonderful poem and an incredible reminder for us to be thankful to all who have sacrificed so much to keep us free. Well done!
Awesome poem--the meter perfect, the message so important.

The bayonet threw me a bit--if it was plunged in his back, how did he survive that? Unless it was just a metaphor for the icy cold?

Loved the images of the men quietly whispering hymns and scriptures...very moving.
The bayonet was used to prod the soldier in this forced march. I could have/should have used a different word but I meant to convey that the soldiers were brow-beaten and forced to march as prisoners to the concentration camp. This is a true story about the atrocities the Japanese visited upon the soldiers and civilians in World War 2.
Wow - what suffering, and surviving all that, and with a bayonet wound in the back. Enjoyed or should I say, very interesting!
Wish I could write poetry. The heart is the battle ground and the Word of God is the strength we need and have if we use it. Thank you. God bless.
This was an amazing poem. I loved the message and the impact scripture had on these men's lives. Beautifully done!
What an incredible story--a reminder of the price of freedom! Your poem brought the story alive so vividly. Well done!
That was quite a journey you took us on...from a little boy to a man. It was encouraging to see that his mom's faithfulness in teaching him the scriptures bore such fruit later in his life and in the lives of others. You writing is very skillful. It was well worth reading. Thank you!
It's heart breaking to read how so many soldiers were treated during WW2. So amazing that they were able to survive at all! I wonder how they endured. I know I learned a lot of scripture as a child--hope I never have to remember it this way.
Oops, i hit the comment button too soon.

By the end I wanted to stand and cheer for the soldiers and their perseverence through that winter. It made me cry!
Excellent--inspiring--sad--perfection in meter and rhyme--great imagery which left me so thankful for those who died for our freedoms and for the King who died for us all.