Walking along Omaha beach opened up a sea of emotions I can’t describe. Over 2000 young men were cut down in their prime among a hail of bullets on the very beaches that I walked along. They were my age, just getting on with their lives, and many of them never made it off of the sand.
As I walked along the beach, with children playing and dogs chasing sea gulls along the waters’ edge, I noticed that right along the sea line was a line of beautiful blue shells. They stretched along the beach for as far as I could see, and when I picked one up it crumbled in my hand.
I didn’t know what else to do when I thought about the reflections for this blog post, but I felt inspired to write. Now I am no poet, but I tried to capture what I felt when I contemplated that day. The young men that died that day were beautiful, and now they are remembered as eternally young. This is what I came up with to try to describe how I felt.
they were washed by the waves,
and smashed against the shore,
what once were beautiful shells,
are whole now no more.
look down and pick one up;
feel the fragility, the life!
from afar a line of thousands
but close one sees the strife.
they flooded the beach that June,
died by dozens, then droves,
now they lay among the cliffs,
lovely shells in eternal homes.
so travel West, and soon.
go get in your car and drive
stand on the shore and breathe in the salt,
and know that you are alive.
we were washed by the waves,
and saved by the shore.
these beautiful, broken shells,
will be remembered forevermore.