On Sunday 6th June 2004 heads of state and dignitaries from around the world gathered in Normandy to commemorate the invasion of Nazi Europe 60 years earlier. Media coverage included interviews of elderly combatants from both sides telling their stories.
Lines of shimmering stones in morning light,
Upon the sheets of brilliant green;
That blanket some at rest who won the fight;
Tranquil fields where war has been.
Presidents, Queen and others of all degree,
Revere those whose destiny was;
To spring in conflict’s tide from the sea;
Prize of freedom their worthy cause.
On that day of death remembered here,
Seasoned soldiers of Teutonic band;
Held by webs of duty shared mortal fear,
With targets streaming onto land.
Neither would forget this Norman shore;
Ribbons of sand that were crossed;
Like a dagger thrust to the tyrant’s core;
Contemplate today if we had lost!
In halting eloquence old men still recall,
Their conquest from the sea and air;
Poignant memories stirring one and all;
Steel armada once gathered there.
Warriors to join the fallen in future days;
Feats consigned to history’s page;
Preserved in printed prose and solemn lays;
That mighty deed of an epic age.
Monty Alexander 6.6.04