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A Symphony Heard Around the World

Remembering September 2, 1945

by Greg Asimakoupoulos
September 3, 2021

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A Symphony Heard Around the World

The deck of a ship
became a platform for peace
as an instrument of surrender was signed.
In Tokyo Bay, that longed for day,
a General was quite specific.
There was no wasting time.
His mission was clear.
He knew the score.

Having orchestrated every minute detail in advance,
he conducted a symphony at sea.
His baton was a Parker fountain pen.
And the joyful melody MacArthur coaxed
from those seated beneath his gaze
could be heard around the world.

I have it on good authority
that the piece played that day
was much shorter than the peace that followed.
You see, a 19 year old Marine
(who would become my father seven years later)
was there.

My dad made mental notes
of this once-in-a-lifetime performance.
As an eyewitness to history,
he told me his story
time and again
until his time came.
And when at last it did
there was a surrender ceremony
of another kind.
And another symphony.
This one requiring but one instrument.
A solitary bugler playing "Taps."
 

* My dad (Edwin Asimakoupoulos) was one of fifty members of the Marine detachment on the USS Missouri in 1945. He saw action in the South Pacific (including Iwo Jima). He was an honor guard at the surrender cermonies aboard the Mighty Mo on September 2, 1945. As such he was assigned as an attache to the Russian General who signed the treaty on behalf of the Soviet Union. It was a red-letter day in his life. My dad died on November 4, 2008. That would prove to be a red-letter day for our nation. It was the day we elected the first black man to live in the White House. A Mariner bugler played Taps at his memorial service on November 10, 2008 (the 233rd anniversary of the establishment of the United States Marine Corps).

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PO BOOKS BY GREG ASIMAKOUPOULOS
Sunday Rhymes & Reasons
Published June 4, 2009

Sunday Rhymes and Reasons is a compilation of inspirational poetry by America's pastor/poet laureate, Greg Asimakoupoulos. In this, his third volume of poetry, Pastor Greg paints word pictures that portray both the struggle and fulfillment that define a life of faith. His repertoire of rhymes celebrate rite-of-passage occasions like birth, baptism, marriage and death as well as the major holidays of the church and culture. It is a volume that illustrates the poet's love of words and of popular culture. The author dips his brush into a paint box of hubris, humor and honesty.

"Gloria and I have been encouraged by word pictures from Greg's pen that have celebrated both our ministry and God's presence in our world."Bill Gaither, Gospel music composer/performer

"Gifted poet Greg Asimakoupoulos is a dear friend of our family. His poetry blesses, comforts, entertains, and provides inspiration for every season of life."Natalie Grant, singer/songwriter/recording artist

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