One Day

by Alex Schumer

My Day

The sun was rising on the morning of June 6th, 1944. The clouds were low and the wind, hasty. After the horrific challenge of getting off the LCVP and making my ways up the beach. We were running up a dried out water way we had found to our left. It provided decent cover from the certain death that the enemy would have rained down upon us, if they had seen us. The sound of dried sand was crunching between my boot and the cement below me. I take a few steps in and turn in one fluid motion to make sure that everybody has made it as far as I have, they have. As we slowly make our way up our abandoned water way, a single sun ray cuts through the clouds almost as if to give us hope. To my left I can see that single sun ray bounce off the French coastal farm homes that, so far, have been unaffected by four years of war. The houses are white with green trim. Sun ricochets off the windows and the beauty makes everything irrelevant. Just as soon as the peace and quiet came, it was shattered by more explosions. After refocusing and realizing where I am, I round the corner at the top of the water way. Again, I am mesmerized at the horrific sight before me. As far as the eye can see there are beaches with plumes of smoke on them. Little black dots scurry around, like ants on an ant hill, some are moving and some are not. Tracers from enemy machine guns pour down on them like rain in a jungle. I cant help thinking, for every tracer I see there are five bullets following it. To keep the sickness at bay, I turn back and head to the barn the rest of my group has entered already. As I turn around, I see two women, standing and staring at me. The look of terror and happiness will never leave my memory. I cant help to stop and look back, we dont speak any words but somehow they know what I am saying and I know what they are saying, Im sorry for what has and is happening to you.

Before I could finish my next thought a German soldier rounds the corner with a curious and shocked looked on his face. We start yelling at each other louder and louder as if that will make up for the language barrier. Even during this traumatizing ordeal, I cant help to notice his worn uniform. Dirt stains lightly cover his trousers. And even though he was yelling, I could see the exhaustion in his face. I could tell he had had enough too. As he raised his rifle, I yell NICHT SCHIESSEN! After several moments of back and forth a tremendous explosion rocks the groud that are feet are planted on. I see the German fall back, hitting the ground squarly with his back. Heres my chance! I think to myself. Not hesitating for another moment I spin on my heel and head for the door I was running to just moments ago. Even the well built barn door is no match for a lowered shoulder and my body weight. As I enter the barn, I automatically start jumping and dancing around. Even with my heart racing with terrifying excitment, I can see everybody else in my group sitting on hay bales. What are you all excited about? one of the Privates asks. By that time I was able to calm myself enough to form a sentence. With a condesending tone in my voice, I reply I was just on my way to a POW camp!

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