In the year 1950 on a cool September morn
Was a tragic disaster yet to be born.
Just ahead was a troop train stalled on the track
And the Spirit of St. Louis was coming in the back.
Then it all happened, piercing like an arrow
Splintering the cars of the boys from Wilkes Barre.
As we stepped from old Louie and our hearts hung with fear
The story it told brought many a tear.
There were 33 dead soldiers, all in uniform,
Killed in the wreck on that cool September morn.
From now on those soldiers always will be free
Cause never on the battlefield will they have to be.
And all around their homeland will live a memory
How the deaths of these soldiers ever came to be
And so sad and mournful the many families were
When the Spirit of St. Louis shook the heart of Wilkes Barre.
Helen Lovett sent me this poem through the U.S. Postal Service. She began writing poetry in response to this event, completed this poem in 1974 and wanted the Bucks County community to remember these soldiers and their heartbroken families. She is 90 years old and lives alone in a mobile home in Plumsteadville.
Poet’s Corner is curated by Bucks County Poet Laureate Tom Mallouk and supported by a grant to the Bucks County Herald Foundation made possible by Marv and Dee Ann Woodall.
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