(Mr. Neal adapted the lyrics from the poem of the same name written by David Martin (a.k.a. DCDave) published here on February 2, 2019)
David Neal, a musician of the “pop-folk” genre where the names of Bob Dylan, John Prine, and John Cougar Mellencamp dominate, has created a terrific song memorializing the men who died or were injured during the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty. Unlike many of the songs by others in that genre, Mr. Neal’s song memorializes an actual tragic event that still remains unknown to most American citizens.
The survivors’ suffering was greatly exacerbated by the brutal orders issued by Lyndon B. Johnson for them to keep their lips sealed forever, and the promise of prison “or worse” if they talked to anyone about it: Not their parents, wives — and, implicitly — not even a psychologist could ever hear of this abominable “war crime.”
Please listen to this 3 1/2 minute tribute to the men who survived, and the 34 who didn’t, this 20th Century exemplar of combined Orwellian/Shakespearian tragedy: