The Journey Is Over

Saying Goodbye at Normandy

About D Day

They left the visitors center his holding the piece of paper with the information he had asked for tightly in his hand. His son helped him down the two steps and the two wives and two men walked toward the entrance to the American Cemetery at Normandy.

When they arrived at the entrance his wife put her hand on his shoulder and asked softly, ‘Do you want to go alone?’ His reply had been yes so she and their daughter in law stayed at the entrance while his son helped him as he walked down the side walk that separated the great areas of green grass cover with white crosses. He looked at the directions on the piece of paper and asked his son to point the correct way, he did and the old Colonel walked slowly toward the grave as his son stood back and watched. There he was in his full dress uniform standing as tall and strong as the years would allow him. Even though he had remained in the army for almost thirty years after the battle fought on this site, he had never returned to stand with the more than 10,000 crosses of this sacred place.

He removed his hat and said softly, Sarge, it’s me, Lt. Charlie that 90 days wonder that you led up this beach on that Tuesday morning in 1944. Been a long time my old friend Roger, but never a day has gone by that I did not think of you and that June morning. Sorry it has taken me so long to get here, been more than 50 years now as you helped me make it from that ‘Higgins Boat’ up that cliff and across this green grass to our first hedge row. I never did forgive you for getting killed on me at that impossible row of hedges, but I always loved you Sarge and I always knew that you made me into the man that I became on that Tuesday of June 1944. As you can see I stayed in the Army for almost thirty years, retired in 1973, and here we are together again at this place we called victory and now it is 2004. I made Colonel before I retired, took one in the butt at the battle of the Bulge, another in the shoulder in Korea, but they missed me in Vietnam. That was a bad one Sarge, spent almost 60,000 men and never made a beach head. Got out after that battle of blood, worked a bit for the Army as a consultant, did some teaching at our local college and by the way raised me one great son, that’s him standing over there, just like a good orderly. Guess I better go now Sergeant Roger but I just had to come and thank you for those months of training and that Tuesday of June 1944. Thank you old friend, thank you. He put his hat on, saluted the white cross and with tears flowing like rain took his son’s arm, the journey was over.


Published in: on January 7, 2014 at 12:05 am  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: