Le Croix de Guerre #Normandy #Calltoarms #hero #WWII #D-Day

Once  I was worn by an average man

he fought bravely in two wars

 he did not understand the cause

but faithful he answered  a call to arms

**

One war he fought for France

his parents actually never knew

he signed while a student of Sorbonne

young men do what they have to do

***

the unlikely are  pinned as  heros

awarded the Croix de Guerre

by those he chose to defend

untold stories of  bravery there

**

Then call to arms another War

No need to fight again

reveille dawned at  Normandy

honor required duty of every man

Today  in tribute to all the artists, writers, musicians, and poets who served their country for freedom. This story though fictional in nature is based on recalled accounts of the astounding bravery of men. The man I am constructing the story around actually won two medals in separate wars. I wish I knew all of his story but what I know was pieced together by stories I heard from his daughter, my patient, who had dementia. The Croix de Guerre his medal for bravery.

***

I am the bronze representation of the heart of bravery. “Bravery” it’s such a paltry word for a human’s willingness to make the up most sacrifice for another, for a cause, for the heartbeat of freedom to continue. I proudly rode upon the chest of such a man as this. “Brave” he would scoff at the word when others would toast his courage. I was not there the first time; I was still neatly packaged waiting in a box. What he did wasn’t brave; it was insane! Men were the equivalent to carnage on a field of blood that day; Flowers will never grow there again. It was dusk. The smoke and stench choked the strongest of men pulling out from the bowels the remnants of any unpalatable tin flavored repast. He looked out and for a moment he saw a specter; his commander who that morning had led a sortie. All had seemingly died in one momentary plume that drove  earth, gear, men, and blood into the morning’s sky.” Captain” he whispered as he clamoured out of the foxhole into imminent danger. “Noooo” his buddy choked a dry, throttled cry. “There is too much to live for don’t die!.” He was gone into” no man’s land”and no one could saw the heroism he rallied  forth.  Captain Murdock fell into his arms; his face gaping with unbelief. Dragging the captain  back to the foxhole, he beckoned for unseen hands. Depositing the Captain, he rushed back into the dark cloud pulling man after man back to the place they called “home.”  “Idiot,” was the enemy’s thought as he fired. Shots rang abount his ears, one pinged off an already scarred bucket of a helmet; one or two struck him in the arm,ut he kept on whispering “Father let this be your finest hour.”  It was! When the tally was taken at the end of the day, the score was enemy 2 victors 12. Two men had been blown sky-high, macerated body pieces  was all that was left. The blast had propelled the others from the epicenter of destruction. None could gather their bearings nor find their way back to safety. My master suffered pain from the two bullets in his arm until the day he died, but he lived to wear me. The others each went on to victories of their own – all survived to tell the story of one brave young American student from the Sorbonne who was studying French Literature. “A quiet taciturn sort of man” they stated. They would have laughed at the most unlikely type soldier, hero, but who could laugh at such a man?

I along with my twin heard many tales of bravery amongst brother medals. I was there the day that the words “let this be your finest hour” were spoken again. I couldn’t believe this man hadn’t learned from the war to end all wars. But here we were with more carnage and decay in a second war that would end all wars or life as we knew it. That day  my master sprung into his action barring the way to death’s reaper for more than a dozen young men who had followed him onto the beach at Normandy. Casualties were all about his feet,but he pushed and pushed further to knock out a viper’s nest that was putting holes in boys who could barely shave.

Because of my master, children were born and saw the light of new day who never would have been born. Grandchildren laughed on grandpappies knees  and another generation waved the banner against injustice because of brave men like my master who in a moment made the decision to die that other might live.

And so my family Le Croix de Guerre and I raise a toast to each man and woman who has served to make my world and yours a place where children are born to see the blue skies of another day.

Photograph; “Le Croix de Guerre” copyright L. Moon 2010

Go for Broke #442nd #memorialday

You always amazed me with that sweet quiet smile
I would pull into my driveway we always talked for awhile
I loved the deep brown wrinkles that formed a content countenance
I never saw a frown as you leaned over our fence
So few of us knew the layers of the real you

A master gardener for a well known  organization was your due

Your work was written up in magazines here and nation wide
I saw those gardens – you have the perfect eye
How surprised was I to find in a simple interview
Of your marked heroism your bravery too
Your dear precious wife proudly brought out your medal
so I plied the story – you played like a fiddle
Layer by layer your story was told
relocated to Tanforan’s racetrack where horses were foaled

Your farms taken your family sent afar
I knew very little then about Manzanar
there I saw “off limits” and shame in your eyes

When that place was mentioned a place you despised

You were proud to be a Nisei son
your parents sought a better life not to be shunned
How could a nation summarily label you as the enemy?
But they did so without thinking – it was delivered shamefully
You were just 18 when you signed for the 442nd
You would have signed up to fight with any unit I reckon
Proud were you and your Japanese brothers

To fight under the American flag you had no druthers

“Go for Broke” was your cry

Many young lives for America died

Each of you shed blood for the cause

Didn’t America know it was their loss?
That limp so dear to me came with pride
to carry several fallen back to safety one lived another died
You are a hero in many eyes
You bring beauty into the world every day

The flowers your beauty always on display

But the thing I realize I see

Is a man with a rich history

And now when I see you I ponder awhile
I dwell on the heart of the man with the tanned wrinkled smile

“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the opportunity to tell you what you have done for this country.
You fought not only the enemy, but you fought prejudice.
And you won.
You have made the Constitution stand for what it really means: the welfare of all the people, all the time.”
– President Harry S. Truman speaking to the 100th Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team, July 15, 1946

My Friend the Veteran (#Tribute for #Veteran’s Day)

I look in your eyes my friend

there are scars behind what most people see

Don’t look too close they beg and plead

Here’s what they would say:

There was Mark from Arkansas he lost his leg

Billy’s from Tennessee  is somewhere in a keg

Cort from New York came home in a bag

Gay from L.A. inhaled a poisonous gas

We never found Alec alas

Capn is in the VA – no thoughts left to grasp

most of our platoon is like me

filled with unspeakable memory

Still – please know we will always be proud

when we hear our country’s anthem loud

we played our part

in keeping our children safe from harm

******

There are many sides that people can look at war. I have no desire to dabble in the political mire. This poem is written for more than one friend. Each one gave something dear to make our world safe. I can say with head held high that I proudly served for six years in the United States Navy. Though I received several commendations, I never saw combat. We were ready at a moment’s notice and several times the notice was close as a breath. Many I worked with had seen the atrocities of war and even experienced poor treatment  when they returned home. Yet, they stood tall in uniform when our flag flew. They never forgot who they served or why.

I salute my brothers and sisters today. You are each a hero!!!!

Depends on What You’re Flying With.

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We all know about the Wright brothers. Oroville and Wilbur were either two insane individuals or visionaries. Probably a combination.

They were not the first to consider the effects of flight or the last. There was the myth of Daedalus and Icarus.  The story of a man and his son who made wings from feathers and wax. Icarus flew to close to the sun and his wings melted. Icarus’  beautiful flight tragically ended as he plummeted to the sea.

Recently, I attended the memorial of a dear cousin. My cousin from a young age had a fixation on mechanical things and aviation. One day he experimented with the laws of aerodynamics and the laws of gravity. He equipped his five-year old sister with a very large umbrella and instructed her to hold on tight as she jumped from the roof of the house. His sister jumped and saw that gravity is a stronger law than aerodynamics as she became one with the ground.

My cousin continued experimenting with  small machines that were intended to fly out of mower engines and the like. Finally he gave up on creating his own flying machine and took to the air in machines constructed by Cessna and Lear. I used to fly with him when I was a kid and even though he would pull some stunt flying he always did it safely. Over the years – He had some near misses with weather and guerillas.

I was impressed by the number of lives  saved because of this one man who would fly donor organs all over the nation – no matter the weather.

Of all his passengers,  his sister (at five ) was the only one who ever sustained injuries. She never flew with an umbrella again but she had plenty of delightful memories with her brother the pilot who saved lives.

Thanks Taygete05 for the photo