I hold in my hand a cup of sand.
This sand is from a beach far away. There are gulls crying overhead. The water laps against the shore. You can smell the salty sea breeze. But on one day, there were no gulls crying overhead. People died that day on this sand. Before they died, they didn?t care about the sea breeze or the lapping waves. All they cared about was getting across the beach.
The day was June 6, 1944, D-day. Now I will tell you my story.
"Get down!" came the cry. Our boat was racing toward the beach. Shells screamed overhead. The water rippled around us because of all the many German bullets hitting the water. Other boats exploded with a BOOM around us.
Some men around me were praying, some were hoping for luck. There faces were grave as they gripped their weapons with trembling hands.
"Good luck!" came the cry.
Then a bump. The gate in front of us fell forward to splash in the water.
I glimpsed the beach through the smoke before I heard a "GO GO GO!" We ran.
We just ran.
The water slowed me down. My pack weighed a ton. It was hard to put one foot in front of the other. I felt like a huge target. I glanced down and saw red water swirling around my ankles. It seemed like forever, but finally I stepped onto the dry sand. My boots felt like they had bricks inside them. I kept going.
Then, I stopped.
I searched for cover.
I saw some.
It was behind a group of poles.
In the water.
I wanted to go there.
But the men there were getting shot to pieces.
And I mean pieces.
So I knew I had to keep going.
Or I would die.
I kept going.
Men were dying all around.
There was blood everywhere.
I could hear the cries of the wounded.
But the loudest thing of all,
in this world of chaos and confusion,
was my own breath.
It seemed like thunder inside of me.
I kept going.
The wall was just ahead!
I was there.
I finally had made it to the wall. I was safe. For the time. I found what was left of my group. We still had to get the machine gun nests. To save lives. We had had a short rest. But we knew that we had to keep going. We would fight more battles. Some might be harder than this one. But we had to keep going. We decided to go up the cliffs by using the heavily guarded road. So, we got with a few other groups and got ready to head up the road.
I checked everything, made sure I hadn't lost anything, and prepared myself mentally. I knew I was going from the safest place on the beach to one of the most dangerous. But I knew I had to keep going. I went.
Edited by - ww2jacob on 10/14/2004 8:51:11 PM