An eerie calm settled o'er Normandy Beach that solemn summer's night.
The debris of battle was strewn 'neath the full moon's silvered light.
The tide cleansed the beach of the blood of men who were in the fore;
Brave men who'd faced the hell of war on that ravaged Norman shore!
Those who gave their all, lay awaiting removal from that embattled strand.
With lifeless eyes and boots pointed t'ward the stars, they slept upon the sand.
Fathers, brothers, sons and husbands slain during the conflict's ebb and flow,
By the inexorable Scythe of Death in the battles of Pointe du Hoc and St. Lo!
What might these heroes have become if fate had not dealt them so?
A teacher, farmer, doctor, a minister? Alas, we shall never know!
They left farm, shop, school and hearth to cross the billowing sea,
And forfeited life on the Altar of Honor that others might live free!
The moonlight revealed treasured items strewn about on the ravaged beach.
Final letters to loved ones lay fluttering in the breeze, now beyond their reach.
There were wallets with photos of wives and children who are left to grieve.
Only the memory of his close embrace will their empty hearts now ever cleave!
Toothbrushes, razors, bloody shoes and socks were gathered by grieving mates,
As they tenderly cared for fallen brothers who've gained the Pearly Gates.
The moon glowed brightly that night o'er Normandy Beach as it paused on high,
To caress the cheeks of brave men as it passed on its eternal bourne in the sky!
Robert L. Hinshaw, CMSgt, USAF, Retired
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