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In 1936 Friedrick Gustav Emil Martin Niemoller was a Protestant minister in Germany. After being imprisoned by the Nazi in 1946 he wrote his famous poem that begins:
In Germany, they first came from the Communists.
And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t Communist;
Then they came for the Jews,
And I didn’t speak up because....
In recognition of his profound words I humbly submit a few of my own.
First I saw trash being thrown from cars
but I didn’t speak up.
Then I saw photos of raw sewage flowing into streams
but they were not close to us so I didn’t speak up.
Faces of children dying from toxic waste sites were shown on T.V.
but I did not know them so I didn’t speak up,
Floods swept people away and inundated cities
But they lived in a far off lands so I didn’t speak up.
Oil spills, chemical pollution and overfishing is killing in our oceans
but I said to myself what can I do?
Across the planet millions are begging for water,
And millions are drowning from too much,
But not where I live so I don’t speak up.
The earth is heating, glaciers are melting, and the seas will significantly rise,
But that may be years away so I don’t speak up.
I can see the Earth is in serious trouble,
But I am getting old so I don’t speak up.
What about my grand children?
I wonder if it will be to late for them to speak up?