Omaha Beach (June 1964)
October 9, 2009
|I was on leave from Berlin Brigade, and Normandy was seeing its 20th anniversary of D Day. I rode a motorcycle from Helmstedt north by northwest into Belgium and then back toward France. It was like visiting WW2 in reverse.|
The memorial above the beach at Normandy brought me into tears, as I stood looking at the field of crosses and the heartbreak of history.
I went down to the beach to walk alone, unable to imagine what really happened that day, June 6 1944. I noticed a man standing and shouting, and waving his arms ...a woman stood behind him. She was crying. As I approached, he looked at me; his scarred face, torn and bent, jaw moving side to side as he said..., "You! You look just like O'Brian... He was killed, almost right here..., when I fell and lost the war. I never made it off this 'fffnnn' beach..., O'Brian looked just like you... Boy!"
The lady was crying, and waving her arms at me... to go away.
As I passed by, she said a quiet... "Thank You!" I was crying myself. He kept saying he never got off the damn beach. He was saying to his Brothers... "I am sorry!"
As I moved on with tears flowing from my eyes, he turned and yelled at me... "Boy! You sure look like my buddy...O'Brian!"
I guess I was... For that moment, in June 1964, on the 20th anniversary of D-Day, I was damn proud to be O'Brian.
By Lou J. Klaiber
Comment on this story