Monday, June 06, 2005

D-Day Blogging

Today is the 61st anniversary of D-Day. On June 6, 1944, the Battle of Normandy began — commencing the British, American, and Canadian liberation efforts of mainland Europe from Nazi occupation during World War II [wikipedia article]. World War II veterans, their family members, and dignitaries from around the world gathered in Normandy for a dozen or so ceremonies to honor the sacrifices of Allied soldiers who died in those D-Day landings. No matter how much I read about it, no matter how many movies or documentaries I watch (or listen to, if it's just audio), I will never be able to understand what those men went through. But I can appreciate it. In honor of the brave men who stormed the beaches of Normandy 61 years ago, I am posting not my own words or artwork, but the works of a few other people whose memorial efforts have touched me.
Let Them In

Let them in, Peter, 
They are very tired
Give them couches where the angels sleep 
And light those fires

Let them wake whole again
To brand new dawns
Fired with the sun 
Not wartime's bloody guns

May their peace be deep
Remember where the broken bodies lie
God knows how young they were
To have to die
God knows how young they were to have to die

Give them things they like
Let them make some noise
Give roadhouse bands, not golden harps
To these our boys

And let them love, Peter
'Cause they've had no time
They should have trees and bird songs
And hills to climb

The taste of summer in a ripened pear
And girls sweet as meadow winds
With flowing hair

Tell them how they are missed 
And say not to fear
It's gonna be alright 
With us down here

Let them in, Peter...
Let Them In was made into song by John Gorka from a poem found in a hospital in the Philippines during World War II. The nurse that found the poem kept it all these years until the recent war brought out all the memorabilia. Luckily, her daughter sent a copy to John. John Gorka recorded the song on his 2001 album, "The Company You Keep" [Amazon link]. Listen to an audio snippet of his recording here [Windows Media File]. David Wilcox and Edwin McCain have also recorded version of the song. Here is Edwin McCain's version [.wav file].
Michael Jantze, creator of The Norm cartoon strip, memorialized his own grandfather in a strip he made for the 60th D-Day anniversary:

All might and main to the valiant D-Day soldier's families. And to the families of all veterans on this day. I stand in awe of each and every one of you.


smijer said...

Then, there's always my McCartney favorite... Let 'em In.

A classic for all ages.

brainwise said...

Ah, yes ... Sir Paul. I agree, "Let 'em In" is a fantastic tune. I would go so far as to call it a masterpiece.

Thanks for sharing, Smijer.