I don’t often post my poetry up but having spent the weekend with some military veterans I’ve been reminded of the sacrifice many paid, and still pay so that I may live in a country which is free. Both my parents served in the military, and my father was wounded in action and still carries the scars (physical and otherwise). Admittedly this was not from the WWII but there are few lives in Europe that weren’t touched in some manner by that war. The Normandy Landings were a masterstroke of planning and strategy but it’s hard to imagine, at least for most of us, what went in then and the price paid on those beaches.
There were nearly 20000 casualties (from both sides), including very many dead. Many argue this was the turning point of World War II.
Originally written in 2004 for the 60th anniversary of D-Day – it’s now 12 years on and still rings true. To those who fell, and those who survived – this is for you.
They stand abreast, so proud, so sombre.
Old men now, some blind, some lame,
Upon chests of valour medals gleam.
They reflect upon the past,
Comrades buried beneath the serenity.
They ran on that day, they fell. They died. For our future.
They charged into the mouth of hell,
Upon that summer day.
Numbers dwindling then as now.
Men of such honour,
Heroes of our time.
Then, now and forever.
(c) A.L Butcher, 2004, 2016.