James Lenihan- What does it feel like to kill a man?

Posted in the Branson Forum

James Lenihan

Wentzville, MO

#1 May 29, 2010
What does it feel like to kill a man?

Sgt. James Lenihan returned home after the war, got married, had children became a salesman
After his death, children found a copy of poem they believe their father wrote
Poem describes killing enemy soldier; click here to read entire poem
Poem: I knelt beside him; And held his hand; I begged his forgiveness

- What does it feel like to kill a man?

James Lenihan of Brooklyn, New York, knew.

He fought in Europe in World War II and he killed a German soldier during a battle in Holland.
He described how it felt in a poem.

----------

"Murder: Most Foul,"

I shot a man yesterday

And much to my surprise,

The strangest thing happened to me

I began to cry.

I knelt beside him

And held his hand --

I begged his forgiveness

Did he understand?

It was the War

And he was the enemy

If I hadn't shot him

He would have shot me.

I shot a man yesterday

And much to surprise

A part of me died with Him

When Death came to close His eyes.

----------

The poem describes a killing in Holland,
where Lenihan served in the 104th Infantry Division
as it battled German units.

It portrays a soldier very upset about taking a life.

----------

I knelt beside him

And held his hand --

I begged his forgiveness

Did he understand?

But even while he describes the shooting as murder,
Lenihan makes clear he had no choice.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/05/28/soldier.poem...
face it

Fairfield, Australia

#2 Apr 15, 2012
I was in the Vietnam war i was only 19 at the time (due to conscription) i never wanted to kill but i was forced to so i can continue living. When i returned home i had killed over 200 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers
officer

United States

#3 Jun 4, 2012
face it wrote:
I was in the Vietnam war i was only 19 at the time (due to conscription) i never wanted to kill but i was forced to so i can continue living. When i returned home i had killed over 200 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers
is it normal if u enjoyed killing. When i go on operations i get an adrenalin rush
Apache

Lansing, MI

#5 Apr 22, 2013
I shot a man on the first day of the groundwar during desert storm. How do you explain such an experience? Can a woman explain what it is like to be raped? It is part of you from that moment on; it becomes a part of your identity(even though you have told very few people about it in the last twenty years). Sometimes you lie awake at night and you try to make sense of it all; do you ask the man you killed for forgiveness, do you ask god, can you ever forgive yourself? You never forget, but eventually you think about it a lot less. Twenty two years have passed and I write this with tears in my eyes. I have kept this secret from my wife and child all of these years, and I pray that you never have to know what is like to kill a man.

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