Monday, June 7, 2010


The "D" in D-day actually meant nothing. Just a letter designator for the invasion of France during World War Two. In so many ways it could have stood for death. Ten thousand combat casualties, 1500 Americans killed in Action. 27 hundred Britons, 500 Canadians.

The anniversary of D-day was yesterday. June 6th, 1944.

Ten years ago I did a remembrance documentary of D-day. I was the reporter on a visit to the beaches of Normandy. We took several GI's from the New York, New Jersey region back to remember that day. It was, for me, one of the most profound stories I've ever covered.

The documentary was entitled, "Lest We Forget" and the following poem was a result of the experience.

It was the day and the month the warriors returned
To the place where many died, the dawn the beaches burned.
The hard of then, now softened by the passage of the years.
It freed again the feelings that surfaced with the tears.

The mind and step would falter returning to the scene
The body now is different. The beaches now pristine.
So many came to witness the warriors return
And wondered if their courage was something they could learn.

Valor comes in time of need, for courage is within
When tyranny oppresses it rises once again.
Old warriors we thank you, for life and limb you gave
To hold the sacred honor of the free and the brave.

You came from planes and gliders and from the ships at sea
And moved across the beaches to free French Normandy.
You now return to see the place of many battle fears
The combat dead all hold you and wipe away your tears.

The world now rejoices in thanks for how you fought
It weeps for the lives that lost and too for lessons taught
If there be a legacy besides long rows of white
Let it be a world call, never the need to fight.

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