D-DAY, JUNE 6, 1944

Omaha Beach

[Photo of Omaha Beach from wikipedia]

Tomorrow marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day when the Allies bravely landed in Normandy to begin the liberation of France and to defeat Hitler’s tyranny.

This poem is my tribute to my dear, late father who fought there, that day, along with thousands of other brave soldiers from several countries.  May we long remember D-Day and all they sacrificed!

D-DAY, JUNE 6, 1944

Let me tell you a tale

About courage and more,


On D-Day, June 6, 1944,

D-Day was part of the Allied advance,


It was the Normandy invasion,

To liberate France,


But our soldiers also fought

For America to stay free,


And many gave their lives

To quash Nazi tyranny,


The D-Day beaches of Operation Overlord,

Were Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword,


Two friends landed on Omaha beach that day,

One came home, the other stayed,


One seaman, Hugh Goolsby, was a young Georgia boy,

His friend, James Vistain, was from Illinois,


Facing relentless gunfire, they ran to reach

The protection of a seawall on Omaha Beach,


Nazi gunners fired down from the cliffs above,

Reaching safety was all the boys could think of,


Hugh made it safely; he was fine,

Poor James died from a Nazi landmine,


Hugh, a medic, tried in vain,

To save his friend, James Vistain,


Onward and onward,

Wave after wave,


Many brave soldiers

Fell into a watery grave,


Brave U.S. Rangers also climbed

The cliffs at Pointe du Hoc,


Eventually, after fierce fighting,

They cleaned each Nazi’s clock!


“D-Day” meant war, with danger and chance,

Thousands died for the liberation of France,


Remember the Alamo, remember the Maine,

And long remember D-Day and every James Vistain!



[As a change of pace, the following is a true story from my unpublished memoir about my early days as a prosecutor.  Names and places have been changed to protect the innocent and the guilty.]

I will never forget one night in particular.  It was 3 a.m.  I was alone.  And I was scared. No one is brave, in the middle of the night, especially after receiving a death threat.  I was a scared, inexperienced assistant district attorney, fighting against a crooked cop. And the crooked cop was out to get me, before I got him!

More specifically, I was investigating a crooked sheriff in one of the counties in which I had recently been hired by D.A. Loren Hatcher to handle the criminal cases. I had been on the job for only a few months.  I was still learning my way around the courtroom when another Asst. D.A. and I had stumbled across evidence which suggested the Sheriff was helping a local drug ring by providing firearms for their protection. The Sheriff was also being paid to “look the other way” by drug dealers, loosely organized in a “Dixie mafia.” My fellow Asst. D.A. was Doug Marsh. Jim Bob Thornton was the alleged crooked Sheriff. As I would learn, I had the impossible task of learning how to prosecute a caseload of cases, while simultaneously investigating the Sheriff whose department was providing me with the caseload of burglaries, robberies, and thefts!  Jim Bob knew about my investigation of him, too, and didn’t like it one bit!  Trying to intimidate me, the Sheriff had begun a pattern of bullying, harassment, and, now, death threats. He was clearly determined to get rid of me, one way or another.

The latest telephone death threat had been received earlier that day at the D.A.’s Office. An anonymous caller had told Ms. Jones, the D.A.’s secretary, to “tell Mr. ______ I am coming to his house tonight and will blow his f_ _king head off!” That was all he had said.  It was enough!  Poor Ms. Jones was so shaken by the call that you’d think he had threatened her, instead of me!  But it was me, not her, who now sat at home, alone, and afraid for my life.  And it wasn’t just my life I feared for.

My precious wife, who was eight months pregnant with our first child, was asleep in our bedroom down the hall. I sat on guard in our den recliner with my .38 Smith & Wesson revolver, still in its holster, on the t.v. table in front of me.

No one ever showed up that night. I finally drifted off to sleep around four in the morning. I knew who was behind the threat and that it was mainly designed to intimidate me. But it still scared me. I wondered what I should do. Should I look for a new job? Should I drop the investigation? Or should I continue to target this crooked cop?






I walked into the jungle alone,

With great trepidation and dread,

And with no gun or smart phone,

I just knew I’d soon be dead!


Should we thus fear life?

And dread each day til we’re old?

Must we experience strife?

And endure daily miseries untold?


Or should we plunge into the dark,

And face the jungle without fear?

Is the answer so stark?

Is that why we are here?


Sorry!  I’m no Socratic scholar!

But I finally found peace, at least!

Didn’t you hear me holler?

When I was eaten by a jungle beast?!   🙂