Tolling of The Bell
By
C.W. "Whitey" Davidson, CSC(SS), USN (Ret)
USS Sea Fox (SS402) (55-59)
d text.Tolling of The Bell

This solemn tolling of the bell, a submarine tradition.
Serves a very special purpose, yet brings forth a premonition.
Fond memories of our shipmates, and times long in the past,
Collide with stark reality ------our times are closing fast!

As we listen to each ringing note, and wipe our tear dimmed eyes,
Our hearts are filled with sadness from the names we recognize.
As we remember days of war times, and shipmates that were lost,
Let's also pay our tributes to those who later paid the cost.

Faces so familiar--it seems we've seen them every year.
We glance anxiously around us and we do not find them there!
"Are they absent?"  "Are they deceased?"  In our minds these questions dwell,
As we listen, oh, so sadly, to the tolling of the bell!

We think of unmarked graveyards at the bottom of the sea!
What a price to pay for freedoms that they bought for you and me!!
To exhibit our devotion, And to show we truly care,
Let us bow our heads in gratitude and go to God in Prayer.

'"Almighty God, Who reigns Above!  We are gathered here today
Praying for Thy love and assistance as we attempt to pay
a tribute to those departed, our shipmates and our friends.
We beseech Thee, Father, watch over them until each journey ends.

"Guard and protect them, Dear Father, as Thou hast done in the past.
May they forever "Rest in Peace"; let not one shadow be cast!
Grant them the justice and comfort denied them while here on earth,
For through their service on submarines, they more than proved their worth.

"Though our hearts are sad and troubled, and faith remains ever true,
We thank Thee for the memories of those now Home with You!
How we treasure these memories!  They are precious and oh, so dear;
With They blessings, so divine, we conducted these services each year.

Help us, we humbly beseech Thee, as we go forward today
May we be worthy of Thy blessings, with heads bowed low, we pray.
We realize, Heavenly Father, but for Thy gracious powers
Included in these honored names could have also been that of ours.

We praise Thee for Thy promise that our dreams can all come true.
A reunion with all these shipmates if we place our trust in You!
No more tolling of the bells; no more sorrows, no more sin.
All this we pray in the Holy Name of Jesus Christ -- Amen."

The above poem was written by Whitey especially for the Memorial Service conducted by Texas Chapter of U.S. Submarine Veterans, World War II at their State Convention in Ft. Worth, Texas on 13 April 1991.