Into the Unknown

December 8, 2010
By Anonymous

My heart is beating out of my chest. With each swift beat I can feel my pulse thump and ripple throughout my body. Every beat is like a war drum being bashed on a march to battle—but the drum is inside me, and I am going to war.
I find myself zoning out into another reality-where war doesn’t exist, and I’m still safe at home. The date is June 6th, 1944, all around me I can see thousands of boats- filled with soldiers just like me, all who left something behind – by choice or by force- to fight in this damn war. In the distance I can see land starting to form, the land that will come to be the grave of so many of my fellow soldiers – the land that could even be…. my grave. The thought makes my already eaten breakfast come alive. In anticipation, I lean over the boat before expelling my eggs into the ocean. I notice around me the thousands of men that just hit that same realization as me, vomiting from nervousness or fear.

The beaches get closer every second – the sound of machineguns adds to the booms of mortar fire. The volume of the symphony of war increases with each passing moment. I turn to my right after receiving a tap on my shoulder to see a smiling face.
“You doin alright Adams?” asked Sergeant Booth
“Yea I’m hangin in there. This is gonna be a rough one, I can already tell.”
“Just keep your head up man, don’t let anything catch you by surprise.”
I nodded in agreement and continued staring at the growing beaches in front of us.

“3 minutes!” The driver of the boat shouted out. Those next 3 minutes burned away like wildfire- and before I knew it we were rushing the beaches.

As the first boats released their soldiers onto the beaches a fierce monster awaited them. I could only see the light produced by the constant fire of mounted machine guns raining down a fury of bullets on our men. With every second a new boat opened its doors, and more men fell. Sounds like nothing I have ever heard and men I know being let out into a slaughter. The sight sends my stomach on a roller coaster with no safety rails. Luckily Booth and I were in the 3rd wave of boats- but what we were seeing was not encouraging. I knew that as soon as our doors opened we would be hit with a wave of machine-gun fire, so I jumped into the water before our boat unlatched its metal hatch. Booth followed after me, and strategically we swam to the shores. Underwater, as we were swimming through what seemed like pure blood, bullets from the turrets were shooting by us. I looked back at Booth swimming behind me, and he signaled to the left—I followed his finger point. We reached land- again the sounds of machine guns overpowered my eardrums and made my vision fuzzy. In another world, I wandered around on the beach like a sitting duck. Luckily Booth noticed my mistake and tackled me to the ground.
“What the hell are you doing man! Get your head in the game!”
He slapped me in the face, then got up and sprinted to cover. I snapped back into action and followed close by him.
“Okay Adams we gotta take out those guns. They’re tearing apart our reinforcements”
I followed him as he sprinted to the dunes of the beach for cover and to meet up with some other men that made in through the onslaught.

“Ok guys we gotta take out those MG’s.. any suggestions?” said Booth
One soldier stood up and said, “Over there to the right there’s a MG mounted in to the cliffs, but its covering a service passage that I’m guessing leads up the top of the cliffs.”
“Genius” said Booth “Alright Adams! Get a grenade into that Birds Nest.”
I took his orders and set out on a dead sprint behind the dunes- dodging what seemed like millions of bullets. I could hear them whistling by my head, knowing that I was very close to death many times. As I got closer to the birds nest I hit the deck behind one of the dunes. The nest was about 50 yards away- my arm was not strong enough to make the throw, but there was no way for me to get cover. I pushed my back up to the dunes behind me and looked back at the beaches. A sea of bodies on the edge of an ocean of blood was all I saw. With reverence to my fallen comrades I took in a deep breath and set off in a full sprint for the cliffs that held the birds nest.
I ran with my eyes closed as thousands of bullets whistled by my body- my swift feet guided me safely to the cliff. I pulled the pin out of the grenade and launched it up to the bird’s nest. With a large boom, the bodies inside were thrown out and the nests sandbags came crashing down on top of me. The gallons of adrenaline rushing through my blood masked the pain. I signaled to Booth and he gave the rest of the men to OK to move up the beach.
D-day had officially started, we had taken the first step to penetrating the countryside. Now we had the opening to take over this beach and took one step closer to winning this war. This was possible because of me. Because of my actions we could now start the offensive. Never had this amount of pride been inside of me—I was high on life. I noticed Booth waving his hands in the air, an act of what I thought was joy. I was wrong.
Little did I know he was trying to get me took look at the Nazi next to me that survived the blast. I was blind to his regaining of consciousness, and casually waved back to Booth. If only I had seen that b****** I would have made it out alive. He pulled out his sidearm and fired. My world went black.

The author's comments:
D-Day is one of my favorite events in war history. I wanted to write a piece where I was put into the shoes of a soldier going to the beaches of Normandy.. This is what I came up with.

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