ON MY WAY TO THE KOREAN WAR… —For President Dwight Eisenhower On my way to the Korean War, I never got there. One summer afternoon in 1952, I stood instead in the bow of the Attack Transport Menard, with an invading force of 2,000 battle-ready Marines, watching the sun go down. Whales and porpoises, flying fish and things jumping out of the water. Phosphoresence— Honolulu behind us, Inchon, Korea, and the war ahead. Crew cut, 18-year-old librarian, Yeoman 3rd Class, editor of the ship’s newspaper, I wrote critically if unoriginally of our Commander-in-Chief, Mr. President, and how perplexing it was that he would launch a nuclear-powered submarine while invoking the Lord, Crocodile Earth shaker, Shiva J. Thunderclap, choosing the occasion to sing the now famous Song of the Armaments, the one with the line “weapons for peace”: O weapons for peace, O weapons for peace, awh want, awh want more weapons for peace! At sundown, a half dozen sailors converged on the bow of the ship where, composed and silent, we’d maintain our vigil until the sun had set. Careful to avoid being conspicuous, no flapping or flailing of the arms, no running, horizontal take-offs, one man, then another, stepped out into space, headed across the water, moving along as if on threads. After a while, I did the same: left my body just as they left theirs. In-breathe, out-breathe, and leave, in-breathe, out-breathe, and leave. Leave your body, leave your body, leave your body, leave your body, we sang as we went out to where the light went, and whatever held us to that ship and its 2,000 battle-ready troops, let go. So it was, dear friends, I learned to fly. And so in time must you and so will the warships, and the earth itself, and the sky, for as the prophet says, the day cometh when there will be no earth left to leave. O me, O my, O me, O my, goodbye earth, goodbye sky. Goodbye, goodbye.