Randy E. Richmond


Ahead, the beach at Normandy, on this day in forty-four
So many of these soldiers, at day’s end would be no more
Their hearts were lumps within their throats, their bellies tied in knots
Fear was seen in every eye at the sound of distant shots

Closer now and deafening the sound of Nazi guns
To the beach, to the beach…red with blood of mothers’ sons
Through obstacles and endless sand, they crawled, they fought, and fell
Horrific blasts of shells all round, zippered crossfires sent from hell

Gaining footholds a bloody inch at a time those brave and brash young men
The boys they were just the night before would not be known again
Then, when that longest day had finished and began the counting cost
Those ships full of their wounded, those thousands of their lost

Add to those the sacrifices made by all of their families back at home
Those to come in the Pacific, liberating Europe, Paris, Rome
There’s little doubt in my mind, that on that long ago June morn
That a large part of that ‘Greatest Generation’ were killed… but also born!

To see the freedom’s flags of many nations once again unfurled
To fly from that time into today… thanks for winning back our world!

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry
Awarded: June 8, 2013