Tag Archives War Graves Commission

D-DAY CELEBRATIONS

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The TV presenter speaks of ‘sacrifice’.

She is al fresco on a purple sofa

with puce cushions. In the middle ground

are dignitaries, veterans, and a band.

Beyond are the War Graves Commission’s white ranks

of the British dead from Sword and Gold.

 

Only one speaker – beret, blazer, medals,

a RN signaller on a landing craft –

comes close to hinting that no one chose

to be a sacrifice. His speech is short,

even appropriately amusing,

and delivered unwaveringly

until the phrase, ‘My abiding memory’.

He halts, overcome – then repeats the words:

and, for the untold time, becomes a helpless

witness. The young squaddies he had joked with –

moments before the ramp clattered down –

were dead, floating with the tide toward the sand.

 

 

 

A SENTIENT PLACE

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