Sunday, June 2, 2019

75 Year D-Day Anniversary

On June 6, 1944 the civilized world held its breath and prayed
For the soldiers who would follow paratroopers who jumped inland in the early morning hours that day
Festung Europa awaited backed by troops and tanks and crowned with guns, bunkers and mines
All part of the Desert Fox’s deadly defend France from the Allies design
If the Allies were pushed back into the sea with the Russians on an Eastern Front roll
Western Europe may well have succumbed to Stalin’s domination goal
High stakes poker with other than air supremacy the Germans holding the chips
No wonder Ike and his generals were in a fear of failure partial grip
75 years later with so few aging members of the Greatest Generation still alive
So hard today in our comforts and miniscule military service imagine how those brave could survive
To run down a ramp of a Higgins boat protected only by a helmet and khaki
Into a hail of bullets and a firestorm of explosions seems completely foolhardy and wacky
But they did and the ocean waters and beach sands turned red
Bodies floating in the waters or crumpled on the sands wounded or dead
How many of us in this divided country would have stayed in the boats or planes instead?
On Memorial Day many flags were planted at the tombstones of the dead
But little to honor those vets who had not died but only physically or emotionally bled
The sounds of silence of the treatment of vets especially in the wars that followed
A reality of thanks for your service an expression not matched by deeds too often rings hollow
Instead of paying only lip service to those living gold star families and vets of later wars
We should be contributing to groups like Wounded Warriors or the Fisher House or if an employer opening jobs doors
To those vets who landed, sailed, flew or jumped on D-Day
We owe them and their families a debt we can only try but never fully repay
And in our daily thoughts and prayers try to help the nation be strong enough to keep the dogs of war away
© May 2, 2019 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

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