Ellen Beth was an accomplished musician, singer and writer – even at a young age. Her untimely death prompted her family, and those affiliated with John I. Leonard High School to start a scholarship fund in her name. She will be remembered for her leadership, academic and artistic excellence.
“If a man doesn’t keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”
HENRY DAVID THOREAU
An Example of Ellen’s sensitivity and love for her fellow man was poignantly expressed in the poem she wrote for the 1982 Excalibur to honor Viet Nam Veterans.
I was born in August, and too young to remember,
the boy living next door, who died that December.
But I have learned now, from the stories they’ve told,
of boys like him, who went to war and fought. Bold!
Another thing I can’t recall
were the social flings, and the welcome balls.
No, there were none, to say the least.
We all turned our heads to hide from the grief.
They hobbled come cripples, with no legs, and no arms, no banks, no parades, no fire arms.
How senseless, how stupid how inhumane too,
to spit in the faces of those fighting for you.
We look at the photos of those not returned, posed in the foxholes, too much to be learned.
Self-confident smiles hid the fear in their eyes,
“I’ll be home soon, ma, now don’t you cry.”
Why did we have to wait so long to build the Memorial and write the song?
We Scream, “Come on home boys, you can come home now!
We’re sorry we’re late; back then we didn’t know how.”
But they’re already here, yes, they came long ago, to no welcomes, and faces that were colder than snow. We try to make up for what was not done, but how can you pay for a mother’s lost son?