Sacred Sand

The crisp wind whips around my body as I look out onto the ocean that lies before me. Closing my eyes, I hear peace and feel the serenity that encompasses this sacred sand. My sister stands next to me; no words are spoken between us. The rush of the waves and the speed of the wind is all that can be heard; two things I am sure were overshadowed by the screams and gunfire that ignited this plot of land on June 6, 1944.

My eyes remaining closed, I am transported back to that fateful day. The sights of Allied ships approaching the beachhead, the sound of the waves crashing against the door that provides temporary protection; the final seconds ticking by as men send up their silent prayers to the heavens above. A cold chill causes me to pull my jacket tighter to my body as I shuffle my feet in the slightest.

I imagine the sound of the falling doors and the lightning fast bullets skimming the water. Men screaming orders, others storming forward to meet their enemy; the water turning red from those who have fallen. I lower my head and feel an overwhelming sense of emotion rush through my body. It is one that can only be felt when faced with the reality of our past.
Opening my eyes, I feel the wetness slip down my cheek. The sand of Omaha Beach seeps into my shoes and I am humbled by the power and history of this place. For I am standing where heroes once stood; a beach that is revered as hallowed ground for those who come to pay their respects. As I turn and look at my sister, I see that she too understands the enormity of this moment. A sense of pride fills me and I cannot help but smile.

Refocusing my eyes back to the sea, I take a deep breath and bid my farewell. Turning my back, I wipe my eyes and make my way past the sand covered dunes, for the pathway we will take will lead us to the final resting place of those who stormed Omaha Beach.

N Allbritton

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