The Once Silent Beaches…

The once silent beaches could not know
That they, our heroes would lie slain
On that day.
The sea festooned with many boats
And men’s crucial anticipation
But too soon lifeless heroes lay
In its cruel tide.
Their letters safe with comrades
Telling wives of never ending love
And kisses for babes asleep amidst goodbyes.
Such carnage, such sacrifice of the young
Who would die, so we might live.
Yet some would survive to see
Those letters tragically delivered.
Words of such heartfelt devotion
Would cause the breaking
Of so many hearts.
Now eighty years on, back to those beaches
Some have come.
Their friends, their brothers in arms now remembered.
In lines carved in stone, in solemnity and dignity.
Forever in an act of enduring remembrance.
Life’s lines deeply etched on aged survivors’ faces.
Hearts aching with memories and guilt
Because they survived, as others fell.
Then silent beaches could not know
Eighty long years ago, along this coastline.
Every sacrifice, every young life given, would change the world.
When cruel memories eventually fade
And life’s tide passes away.
We who remain, must tell their story.
Must honour the lives, taken before their time.
Then surely as the tide laps upon those silent beaches.
We will, remember them.

Elaine Coltham, 2024