June 10, D Day Retrospective

One hundred sixty thousand men sailed into Normandy.
Their mission was to drive out Nazis and set Europe free.
They faced high cliffs and German guns, dug in to drive them back.
On June sixth, nineteen forty-four came the all-out attack.

We’ve called it “D Day” ever since, this anniversary
Marks eighty years since this momentous day in history.
Just D Day cost four thousand lives, five thousand wounded men,
And later, tens of thousands more, the lives they paid to win.

The German losses, inexact on that specific day,
But twenty thousand graves attest the price they had to pay.
From Normandy, the fight went on, almost another year,
‘Til Germany, just rubble then, threw down the sword and spear.

The Third Reich lasted just twelve years: six million Jewish dead,
In Europe, sixty million died; rivers of blood were shed.
A D Day then came to Japan; we dropped the atom bomb.
With hundreds of thousands vaporized; nothing to embalm.

Dictator and autocracy: D Day began the end.
Today we face the choice again. Now, how much must we spend?
Four hundred thousand lives, the World War II price that we paid.
The cost to stop autocracy: remembrance must not fade.

We paid an even higher price to topple slavery, (1)
Our ancestors stood up to slavery and autocracy.
Flags flying upside down, some with a would-be tyrant’s name
Suggest that now, we’ve lost that will. Should graves cry out, “For shame?”

Racism is still with us, for it has a long shelf life.
The tyrants and their aspirants feast on such racial strife.
World history has shown the cost; to be blunt, it is death.
“A White Christian Nation,” may be a fatal shibboleth.

(1) Our Civil War cost an estimated 600-700,000 lives.