Friday, June 6, 2014

We Are Here Because of D-Day June 6 1944

Thank You
 Brave People Who Were There
History's Greatest Invasion
70 Years Ago
Today.
" I lived 
a thousand years 
that day "
               Wounded D-Day Veteran

[X]

I got to be born,
to grow up,
because of D-Day.
How many of us did!

Dad was in the
 US Army Air Corps.

All of our fathers
and uncles were
veterans.

As were
the cop on the beat,
the school principal,
the mail-carrier
and the guy
 pumping gas
[they also washed your windshield
and checked your tires!]

All the grown men
had been in 
The War.

The British, Dutch,
French, Chinese,
Filipinos, Australians,
NZ, and others
were our allies
and friends.

Germany was chastened,
Japan likewise,
but we were rebuilding 
them, infrastructure
and people,
as constitutional 
Democracies in our
image
and as friends.

My parents' friends
up the block,
I played with their kids,
displayed the 
living room photo
of Mrs. Schwartz's
handsome brother
in his US Navy pilot's uniform.
Action in the Pacific.

His body was never found.

Mothers, Fathers
 grandparents, siblings
sweethearts
grieved
and always would.

But 
they never talked about it.
The bereaved, 
or the veteran fathers.

"Real men" didn't.
Everyone was John Wayne.

But every family
processed the 
world's great pains.

We were the children
of a saved world,
children of Democracy.

It was a bright new day.

I grew up in a new house
purchased on great terms
with a VA loan.
(Veteran's Admin)

We would never understand
how the world suffered,
how our fathers
and mothers
suffered.

"Clean your plate
[ingrate] children
in Europe are starving."

And on some level
we felt their 
unintended resentment.

They saved the world.
How could we live up
to THAT!?

Fathers were tough then.
We didn't know why.

Perhaps they toughened us
in case of another
unthinkable challenge.

We needed to study
math to beat the Russians,
not carry a gun up the beach.

I am horrible with numbers.

The adults also whispered
about relatives
"coming over"
all very hush hush.

We kids didn't need to know
that they had been in
concentration camps.

I saw the numbers
tattooed on the wrists
of old people
who spoke with accents
but looked like us.

Laying in bed
I asked myself
if I could survive
hundreds of miles
crammed into a closed
boxcar with hundreds
of others, but no
toilet.


Today-
Outside my window
here in Honolulu
I see one of the globe's
great WWII military cemeteries,
Punchbowl

National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific



President Obama's grandfather
Stanley Dunham
is buried there.
The President grew up
in Stanley's home a mile from
here for many years.

The Obamas
and their girls
have visited Stanley's
grave more than once

" My landing craft
was full of boys.
Approaching the shore
I could hear
 rapid machine gun fire
hitting the front of the boat.
I knew when I lowered that ramp
those bullets would be
hitting flesh
instead of metal.
We hit the beach,
I got the order.
I lowered that gate."

US Navy Veteran
[in his 90's today]
at Omaha Beach



"Live your freedom.
That's what we did it for."
D-Day Veteran

70 Years Ago
Today




19 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

well done, cloudia. they deserve our utmost gratitude.

Cloudia said...

Amen to that, Tex

Glennis said...

A lovely tribute to all those brave men and women.

William Kendall said...

A stirring tribute, Cloudia.

Leovi said...

Delicious photo, wonderful sky with beautiful colors!

Cloudia said...

So glad to see you here, friends

Charles Gramlich said...

WWII was the last war in which we finished up the right way and ended up making ex enemies into friends.

RuneE said...

Truly a day worth remembering - we might not have been here without the events of that day.

Kay said...

This is such a beautiful tribute to the soldiers who fought and died in that terrible time to insure that our world would be cleansed of the evil that had encroached it.

Bob Bushell said...

You did it, let's turn away from those bad days and make our own beautiful.

Dina said...

Thanks for this, Cloudia. It is the best, most moving piece of writing for D-Day that I've seen all day.

Hilary said...

Excellent post, Cloudia.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Such a beautiful tribute Cloudia, so many wonderful quotes, but your words also.. wonderful! I enjoyed the link, it's always interesting to see how things work in other countries.

TexWisGirl said...

came back to say congrats on a well-deserved POTW!

magiceye said...

Beautiful tribute!!
Well deserved POTW!!

Namaste /\ from Mumbai
Aloha!!

Michael Manning said...

A wonderful POTW. I enjoyed it, Cloudia!

Out on the prairie said...

A nice tribute , I met a Marine yesterday who was there.

ds said...

Thank you for this stirring tribute, greatly deserving of its POTW (and more).

DeniseinVA said...

Fantastic tribute Cloudia! Having just come back from the 70th Anniversry of D-Day in Normandy, I found this particularly touching. I met many vets