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My Turn: On Normandy’s Shore – A poem in remembrance

For most people today, it seems too long ago

Another world, another time, so distant you know

Early morning, June 6th 1944, 02:00 marked time they arrive at the shore

Through cloud and the air they dropped from on high

One target, one hope for this day they would try

To secure egress from those beaches was the directive and plan

Airborne divisions Brit and Yanks above Normandy’s sand

By 06:30 on that morn the air bombardment was through

And the first brave souls hit that beach as hot metal it flew

Wave after wave of armor carriers from the sea they would land

Through sand, surf and brine so determined to stand

Boys became men as they charged up that beach

Safe positions they favored and scrabbled to reach

Brit and Canadian left flank, Sword, Juno and Gold

And the Yanks, Utah and Omaha the bloodiest of tolls

The battle raged for hours as time it stood still

One minute seemed like hours no relief from that chill

One hundred meter cliffs our Rangers did scale

Then knocked out German cannons in hopes to prevail

Through the orchestrated chaos of that precious campaign

The first fatal blow it was struck and a victory sustained

But not without casualties, many lives they were lost

Canadian, Brit and Yank had all paid a great cost

Today there in France you can visit each site

Where brave men they once stood so willing to fight

The beaches, the cliffs and monuments too

A green sea of white crosses under a sky crystal blue

On these white symbols of freedom a name it is carved

In memory of each soul, the Lord’s shining stars

They look down on us now you can see them each night

Lighting the evening for us of a future so bright

So look up to the heavens whenever you fear

Remember that freedom as upward you peer

Stand strong as they did on that memorable day

The ultimate price for our country with their lives they did pay

In honor and memory of the greatest generation and their sacrifice on D-Day.

(G.A. Baribeault lives in Rochester.)

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