BOISE -- Family and friends of a Boise Marine have gathered in the Washington D.C. area to honor him. Second Liutenant Ralph Gorton, III was killed while fighting for our country in Vietnam, but soon one of his poems will be on display for people from around the world to see.
Growing up in Idaho, Robert Gorton and Kathy Seetin had no idea their brother Ralph was a poet.
While at school at the University of Idaho in 1964, Ralph wrote this poem:
Struck Blind in the Brilliance
I waited and watched
And when the time came
I said nothing.
Such is death. It comes quietly
Without a sound.
Three years later, Ralph joined the Marines. Only a few months into his deployment in Vietnam, he was killed by a sniper. He was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart among other medals.
Ralph's brother and sister told us the writings he left behind help them remember the man he was.
He had a good sense of humor, a good sense of humor, said Robert Gorton.
You know you don't get to say your goodbyes, and we certainly didn't want this to happen, didn't expect this to happen, and you think it's never going to touch your family, added Kathy Seetin.
Soon, Ralph's poem Struck Blind in the Brilliance will reach a much wider audience.
To honor Ralph s memory, his mother published a book titled Bravely I Went Forth, filled with Ralph's letters and poems.
Several of Ralph's former classmates saw the work, and thought it would be a good fit for a monument honoring Marines in Quantico, Viriginia.
The poem was chosen to be etched into a monument at the Marine Corps Base, Quantico.
Well the fact that he wrote it and it's being placed on the monument is a great honor, added Kathy Seetin.
The memorial was built in memory of dozens of marines who lost their lives fighting for our country, all of them from the Marine Corps class of 6-67.
It's an honor that all of them deserve, said Robert Gorton.
Ralph s family members hope his words will resonate with anyone who visits the memorial, bringing comfort to family members still healing.
It's going to be an emotional time for all of us, said Kathy Seetin of the ceremony to be held once the memorial is installed on Friday. Perhaps a little more closure.
The brother and sister told KTVB this is a chance to honor their brother's memory and keep his legacy alive.
The new memorial honoring members of Ralph's Marine Corps class is scheduled to be dedicated at a special ceremony Friday morning.