My father landed on D-Day. This poem is dedicated to him and to the God he and I serve.
Before there was Normandy
The skies were black as slate, the night chilled and clear. Galaxies of stars, promised from their birth to experience this moment, pressed closer to our orb, crowding and jostling to better witness, winking their approval as rising tides hurled wave after relentless wave onto a shrouded beach of barricades and bob wire. The first advance of morning's grays inexorably pressing the retreating blackened night.
Proud, Primeval Princes...Masters of kingdoms vast, grimly overlook their heavily bunkered strongholdpalpable, visceral Dreadplumbing their soul's depths. Their hands, in futility, gripping and re-gripping their weapons - grasping more tightly now in proportion to their vanishing hope. Somehow they knewthis dawnwould be unlike their witness to a thousand millennia of dawns.
The billowing mist sweeping onto shore today whispered of their apocalyptic doom: "The Suns Advent today will Harold the Conquering Son so promised."
Omaha's crescent beach and flanking craggy cliffs; yes my father was there in 1941...1941 years removed from that holy night.
He was one soldier on a crowded, grey landing craft destined for your shore, his ship, one of many tiny dots bobbing on the ocean vista foretelling an unconquerable flotilla.
He always denied he was a hero. He would say "We did what we had to, and that day was hell "
His eyes would stare for a moment; he would reach for his burning cigarette, and pause, the smoke curling lazily heavenward, then slowly vanishing above the two of us. His gnarled hand momentarily paralyzed, he was looking far, and far past the upward gaze of his 10 year old son. He was seeing once again the horrific mayhem waiting for him on the beach of the Baie dl la Seine.
His mother's "Let it be done" resonated through the universe to the Triune God, the flawless acquiesce to the perfect mercy and softly, almost indiscernibly, a baby's foot gently imprints the sand. Beatific, angelic beings announce Emanuel. The Powers of the majestic universe, for a moment suspended in awe bow low in silent, adorative anticipation.
Then with awesome swords in hand, Archangel Saint Michael and the angelic battalions, girded and regaled in fierce battle array, arise as one behind the promised one. As the rays of dawn's first sun assault the beach, they join the Son.
And when the long suffering earth welcomed that first divine step, the promise to Zechariah was fulfilled. "By which the daybreak from on high, will visit us, to guide our feet into the path of peace" and the Archangel Gabriel, containing his joy no more, proclaimed "Rejoice, have no fear. We bear good tidings of great joy. Your liberation is today"
Dr. John Sand D.O.