On Juno Beach
The old man stood on the beach tears in his eyes, as he thought of the past it rolled back in his mind like he was there again.
“I don’t want to do this,” he cried as a young soldier.
“Look around you what do you see? Bodies of good men who gave their lives; so we could continue the fight. We need to take this beach, the whole world counts on it. Besides they’d never think we’d come across in this weather.”
“Those paratroopers missed their targets, as did our R-boats. This is a disaster.”
“It’s not for you to say. We’re the 9th Canadian infantry brigade, we can take them. Join me, jump into the water and start swimming to the shore. Let’s do this,” Sarge answered.
The boy soldier jumped into the choppy cold sea, swimming past dead soldiers, cannon fire and explosions exploding around him in the water. He marched on past more bodies, past exploding shells, until late in the afternoon when they advanced on Carpiquet Airport. Low on ammunition they dug in for a night, that lasted a month, while bodies still fell around him.
The old man pulled himself back from the memories wiping his eyes, he looked towards the memorial. Seventy years ago passed since that fifteen year old boy fought and Sarge had died. Those dying boys, men and survivors were owed a duty. He would be there for the memorial every year to honour them, until he couldn’t do anymore.
©Sheilagh Lee June 5, 2014