VeteransPosted: June 6, 2020
In 1999 I made a trip to Alaska, spending time there with my mum, June, and our great friend Peter Bibb, sadly gone now, but who was a veteran of the D Day landings.
This poem was written for the 70th anniversary.
Today, in 2020, those remaining veterans are unable to gather as they normally would. This is for them, the living and the dead, and for those they loved and who loved them back.
70 years before…….
Young men stumbling into the shell bound surf
Silver flying fish
The boys, wading on and in
Falling, camouflaged no more
Booming, battling forth
Whistling bullets, the siren song of war
Deafening the ocean’s unerring roar.
I watched ‘Saving Private Ryan’
With Pete Bibb
Self appointed ‘old timer’
Who left the movie house
“Cannot watch this, have to go”
As the faux machine guns
This D Day morning
The robes of priests, clustered
The coat tails of politicians
And hats of royalty
As the bemedalled veterans
Old men now
Memories shared, perhaps, despairs
Some stood and stared
As the peace yearning prayers
In the fields at home
The buttercups, the thistle heads
Were bowing in the stiffening wind
That blows across the Channel
The clouds scud seawards
A breath of memory passes
Back across to France
Where death gleaned a mighty harvest
No respect for rank, for officer classes
The flags and flowers
The crowds lost
In collective trance
Subdued respect, even awe
And own them all, we all surely must
Others sand blasted, dust
Their debt, in full, is met
And not forget.
Marc Mordey 6/6/14