As I prayerfully reflect on the many lives lost on D Day, I wrote this poem. Writing it got me thinking about my grandfather, who lied about his age to fight in the infantry division in World War I for the Canadian Expeditionary Force, which was the forerunner to the Canadian Armed Forces. He was only 17. Bompa, the British term for grandfather, was PFC Sandford Dobson. He paid a high cost for serving his country with emphysema from mustard gas exposure.
Every morning my bompa got up he would cough for what seemed to me to feel like an eternity before he could start his day. I cried in my spirit with each cough I would hear. thinking what a horrible price he paid for the freedoms we enjoy
As a boy of five I see him fight for his breath more than ever before. Sweat is dripping down his face. He reaches down to pet our chihuaha, Sandy. He dies later that day from his third heart attack.
The lessons he taught me about being a man who gives to others, really listens to and loves others, has a zest for life, who is a man of integrity, I pray will always be a part of who I am.
Bompa, this poem is my gift to all who live with the devastation of war. We must never forget the sacrifices made on those cold and lonely fields of battle.
Let us give all veterans and those serving as soldiers from Private to General, from Seaman to Admiral, the respect and all the benefits they deserve.
To do any less than this shames us as a society.
Normandy no more
They land on Normandy beach
They come from village, town, city, farm
Defeating Hitler’s evil reign is their goal
Hitler’s terror must end of mother, father, brother, sister,friend
These teenagers 16,17
These young men with the dream of university, career
With courage go into the path of fear
Far too young to die, for freedom for you, for I
We remember the counsellors, chaplains, nurses, doctors
Who see the wounds of war
For soldiers who all give their best
For those who’ve gone to their eternal rest
For soldiers willing to go after the dictator, the brute
For those with courage resolute
For those who go into the fray
This for all of us we need to pray
That there would never be another Normandy