June 6, ‘44
By John R. Stoeffler
The day was June six, One-Nine-Forty-Four
And the whole wide world had been years at war;
But on that day at the ocean’s fringe
Would the fate of a free world on one battle hinge.
The Allies in England the night before
Prepared to storm the Axis’ door.
Soldiers and sailors crossed the Channel in ships
While fighters and gliders through darkened skies slipped.
Such a sight none had ‘ere seen before so they tell
As thousands went forth to do battle in hell
Where bullets and blood would be swift spent and shed
And at day’s end would be left the quick and the dead;
A day that would live in men’s minds ever more,
And the world hoped and prayed…June 6 ’44.
Before dawn the Airborne jumped into night skies,
They were first to fight and they were first to die.
They landed in swamps, they landed in trees,
And were shot all to hell there in Sainte-Mere-Eglise.
No glory in dying, no glory that night
As each fought and some died for a cause that was right.
With the gray light of dawn came the roar of ships’ guns
Announcing to all that invasion had come.
Bombers and battleships blasted the beach,
But the Germans dug in beyond bombs and shells reach.
And so as with armies for centuries past
To drive out the Hun was the infantry’s task.
They charged to the beach, into the guns’ roar,
And the world held its breath…June 6, ’44.
A shower of shrapnel and a hailstorm of lead
Left thousands wounded and thousands more dead.
“Mama!” and “Medic!” – “Please, God!” and “Oh Damn!”
Were the cries on that day of the infantryman.
To live one more hour was their prayer so some say
As each GI lived out his own longest day.
From high on the cliffs guns ripped them apart,
They clawed their way forward but still came up short.
But with courage and guts they fought to the top,
And once they were there they wouldn’t be stopped.
Over the top, and into the fray,
T’was the man with the rifle who carried the day.
One battle so bloody, the horrors of war,
A day to remember…June 6, ’44.