Poems

Seventy Five Years In The Passing: A D-Day Tribute

D Day Tribute

Seventy Five Years In The Passing..A D-Day Tribute.

Seventy five years in the passing,
The 6th of June; brave troops amassing.
Nobody knew how countless would pay,
For saving our souls that proud D-Day.

From hillsides, valleys, towns & moors,
They set off, leaving British shores.
A rendezvous of military purpose,
They called it Piccadilly Circus.

Fine young men, compressed in ships,
Sick & queasy from ocean dips.
Allied forces all combined,
Normandy beckoned; massed lives confined.

None can say how many we lost,
They clambered beaches, and counted the cost.
Who would escape from enemy fire,
Who’d be weeping in heavenly choir.

Bloodstained letters from those who fell,
“If you’re reading this..” they all could tell.
Roll calls told of those who gave,
Heartfelt thanks from the gratefully saved.

Generations lost their Dads,
Husbands, sons; bereft comrades.
Fated Families would never flourish,
War distinguished every last wish.

We remember hero soldiers true,
Give every single one their due.
They gave for me, and gave for you,
It’s the very least that we can do.

5th June 2019

How moving it’s been, watching the D-Day commemorations, marking 75 years since the momentous landings by allied forces, on the Normandy beaches, during World War II. Those of us who haven’t lived through such dreadful times, will never be able to comprehend the enormity of the conflict & fallout of war. I hope we never have to.
This is my tribute to the brave, the heroes. So many would never come back, their family lines finished there, no more generations to carry on their heroic genes. Thank goodness enough brave, young men, from allied forces, were successful during the invasion, marking the beginning of the end of WWII, which eventually secured our freedom.
The photo is one I took at The Tower Of London, during the ceramic poppy installation, marking 100 years since the beginning of WWI. However, thinking of the D-Day anniversary, it struck me that the poppies looked like the blood-soaked sea, and the shadows on the wall reminded me of apparitions of the soldiers charging onto the beaches.

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39 thoughts on “Seventy Five Years In The Passing: A D-Day Tribute”

  1. Peter's pondering says:

    A lovely poem Debbie, and what a marvellous analogy, especially linking the shadowy outlines to the masses of soldiers. Thank you, from an old soldier!

    1. Debbie Jones says:

      Thank you very much, Peter, that’s very kind of you to say, but thanks must go to you, and all your soldier comrades, both long past & present..and future. 🙂

  2. tidalscribe says:

    Yes, hasn’t it been a dignified day and I loved the Boudicca taking all those veterans, giving them a fantastic week.

    1. Debbie Jones says:

      Yes, that was wonderful! I watched some today, that I missed yesterday. I loved seeing the 95 year old veteran doing the tandem parachute jump & his interview afterwards. Some incredible, original footage & commentary, it makes the hairs stand up in the back of your neck!

  3. Chatter Master says:

    This was the best tribute I have read/seen all day. I read it out loud to feel it’s full depth. They saved the world.

    1. Debbie Jones says:

      Thank you so very much for your kind words, Colleen. While I was checking up on some of the details I wasn’t clear about, as I was writing, I was amazed at some of the things they had to go through.. some of it made for a very tough read. They did save the world!

      1. Chatter Master says:

        I don’t think that’s an understatement at all.

  4. vhealing says:

    Firstly, I agree with every comment that has been made here Debbie.

    This is a beautifully written in dedication to our War heroes.
    How courageous they were!

    Sadly, I know that many families were also destroyed in these times of war. (including my own ancestors) I remember back to when these heroic men returned home. I was told that in those days they were not recognised for the trauma of war and suffered the (secret condition) of “shell shock” (PTSD) amongst other health disorders and family breakups.

    Sadly, that generation of men had been told, that they were weak, if they spoke up.

    Thank God that I have not seen war in my lifetime. Blessings to you Debbie, for remembering our heroes.

    We have so much to thank them for,

    it is only sad, that we didn’t fully honour and support them when they were still living.

    1. Debbie Jones says:

      Thank you so much for the lovely & heart rending comments in your reply.
      Those poor chaps, much of what they went through we’ll never know, but the horrors they must’ve endured & seen, no person should have to go through. How awful that they were then told to man-up & get on with their lives, as if nothing had happened. It explains why so many never spoke of their experiences. I know my own uncle was at Dunkirk, he never spoke of it, & his own son, (my cousin) knew little of what happened, until after his death, when he was able to read his diaries/letters home. It’s heartbreaking our ancestors didn’t get the help they needed. Thank goodness, things have improved now, at least PTSD is recognised.

      I’m so thankful that we haven’t seen war, too. Everything is so sophisticated now, I fear for the whole of humanity if there was unrest leading to war, with some of the powerful leaders in the world, now.

      1. Ivor Steven says:

        Oh Debbie, as you might have gathered, I’m an emotional person. Your heartfelt tribute has me in a river of tears. I have a song for you, not to with suffering and sacrifices of war, but just about the sorrow of grieving. Whoops I have to find it, I’ll post soon

        1. Debbie Jones says:

          Aww, thank you so much for your lovely comments, Ivor. I’m a very emotional person too, so I understand those feelings all too well. A myriad of things can set me off very easily, music is definitely one of them! I look forward to hearing the song though..I think, haha! ☺️

  5. SueW says:

    Oh, Debbie, what an absolutely wonderful tribute! I’m glad you chose that photograph and I agree about the shadows. How perfect. 🙂

    1. Debbie Jones says:

      Thank you so much, Sue. The dreadful happenings during the war seem to hit home more as we get older. Watching the veterans during this anniversary makes you realise that many of these incredible men will not see the next big commemoration. The stories they can tell will be confined to history.
      I must admit it was quite a striking moment when we visited the poppies at The Tower Of London, on a beautiful, sunny day, & those shadows on the wall were of all the onlookers. I thought then it was like an echo of the past, we were like the shadows or apparitions of those who were lost. And we probably wouldn’t have been standing there if not for them.

      1. SueW says:

        It must have been a beautiful sight. Listening to the old soldiers talking yesterday brought tears to my eyes, so many people lost, all those heart broken families and like you, it hit home realising that soon there will be no one left to tell us how it really was.

        1. Debbie Jones says:

          It was, Sue, although quite a few had been removed by the time we saw it, ready to be sent out to those who’d bought them. I tried to buy one, but they sold out so quickly. Yes, I had to get the tissues out several times these past few days. All those I heard interviewed were so humble, bless them.

  6. williamrablan says:

    A great tribute. Thanks for posting.

    1. Debbie Jones says:

      Thank you very much for reading & for your kind comment, William.

  7. JOY journal says:

    Beautiful thoughts and the photo is lovely. What a day in so many ways. It’s impossible to imagine.

    1. Debbie Jones says:

      Thank you very much for your kind words, Nora. Yes, it’s so difficult to begin to realise the enormity of the goings on that day, the lead up to it, & aftermath. One day that changed history…incredible.

    1. Debbie Jones says:

      Thank you very much indeed, Lindsey.

  8. Invisibly Me says:

    You’re right about the poppies looking like the blood-soaked sea. Your poem was a poignant, heart-felt tribute  ♥

    1. Debbie Jones says:

      Thank you so much, Caz, I really appreciate your kind comment.

  9. ivor20 says:

    Oh Debbie, as you might have gathered, I’m an emotional person. Your heartfelt tribute has me in a river of tears. I have a song for you, not to with suffering and sacrifices of war, but just about the sorrow of grieving. Whoops I have to find it, I’ll post soon. My misty eyes are stinging with tears, so I’m up out of bed and on my computer, so I can send this glorious tune….
    https://youtu.be/d7LewdmDEEI

    1. Debbie Jones says:

      Aww, thank you, Ivor..it is beautifully emotional. We’ve got a couple of CD’s by Antony & The Johnson’s, but I don’t remember hearing that track before. He has written some heartbreaking songs, although he’s now either transitioned or transitioning as Anohni. So I’m sure she’ll gift us lots more. Many thanks, once again, Ivor, I shall listen to it again. 😊 xx

      1. ivor20 says:

        Yes it’s a trul

        1. ivor20 says:

          Whoops again, time for to take a break, yes it’s truly a moving song, and I love his version of Leonard Cohen’s ” If Be Your Will”
          https://youtu.be/1MDlMdu2gjw

  10. mabelfrancis says:

    Beautiful tribute, Debbie. Didn’t know why D Day was so significant until it came up in my French conversation class. The French animator also included that she lost her father who was a soldier in the war.. was painful to imagine losing people like that..

    1. Debbie Jones says:

      Thank you very much, Mabel. ☺️
      Yes, it’s heartbreaking to think how many had their families split apart in such a tragic way. It definitely brings it home when you know them & hear how they were all affected, rather than hearing about such losses from a third party. 🙁

      1. mabelfrancis says:

        That’s so true, Debbie 😔

  11. ivor20 says:

    Yes Debbie, I’ve worn myself out, Think I’ll head off to a local football
    Whoops again, time for to take a break, yes it’s truly a moving song, and I love his version of Leonard Cohen’s ” If Be Your Will”
    https://youtu.be/1MDlMdu2gjw

    1. Debbie Jones says:

      Sorry Ivor, I’d missed this comment, & Antony’s beautiful rendition of, “If Be Your Will” I hadn’t heard it before. Thank you so much for posting it..hope you managed to see a good game of football in the end! ⚽️

      1. ivor20 says:

        The footy was good , we won !!!

        1. Debbie Jones says:

          Yay!! Excellent!! 👏👏👏

  12. forresting365 says:

    Thank You for this. I ran into it over at Peter’s and am so happy I did. Such a beautiful tribute You’ve made. It blows my mind as well. The courage, selflessness, and amazing fortitude of all who were there. We’ve been watching the tributes as well and it’s astounding. My mind can never wrap itself around their strength. There aren’t enough “Thank You”s in all eternity for these young men and all they saved us from. Impossible to think of what they went through/what it cost each of them and not cry. ❤️

    1. Debbie Jones says:

      Thank you so much for your lovely comments, Katy & for following too. Peter was very kind indeed to share my D-Day tribute & is always so encouraging & supportive. You’re so right about the young men in the armed forces, we can never comprehend anything that they went through. Even watching old footage seems more like I’m watching a film, sadly, how I wish it was!
      This anniversary touched me even more than previous commemorations & remembrance services, especially after hearing the experiences of the veterans, so emotional!

      1. forresting365 says:

        It’s absolutely my pleasure, Debbie! Thank You for following me back! 🤗 And I agree with You….this anniversary touched me more deeply as well for the same reason. ❤️

  13. neilsonanita says:

    I know what you mean about the photo.It’s so atmospheric. What lovely verse. I really appreciated it..Anita

    1. Debbie Jones says:

      Thank you very much, Anita. The poppies at The Tower Of London was quite an amazing sight! The fact that it was sunny enough that day to cast such shadows, was a real bonus & definitely added something special to the whole scene.

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