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Gray Dawn

Updated on June 22, 2014

June 6th, 1944; day dawned, a pallor of gray

Plans take their shape for the coming foray

Men in ships ride the rough channel water

Waiting, nervous, in fear of the coming slaughter

Drizzling rain and overcast skies hinder war’s plan

But war must go forth; precious time cannot stand

The moment comes too soon; the “go” order given

Men rush forth from boats cast to death and heaven

Entrenched enemy upon the beaches; fires at will

Soldiers fall into chilly waters, bullets find their kill

The swirling waters take on a tint; a deep bloody red

It marks the loss of life; the count of the many dead

Still soldiers moved forward, progress marked in red

Soldiers fallen, wounded crying, others lying dead

Progress comes in inches; determination abounds

The fight rages for hours; all its blood and sounds

Allied Forces take the beachheads paid for in blood

Armies move to the beaches, inland they will flood

Fighting for this precious ground with all their might

Praying to just remain alive with the coming night

Site by site the enemy is routed from the fortifications

On forward, taking ground station by precious station

The enemy defeated slowly pulls back from the line

Dropping back to join forces and fortify the Rhine

The world can never forget the battles at Normandy

Where thousands spilled their blood in a cold,angry sea

To stop the progress of a tyrant’s rage upon the lands

And marked forever by the blood shed upon the sands

May such a day never come to man again in history

May peace abound and people know precious liberty

But never forget the bloody waters of life-blood’s stain

Bled by those who paid the price; freedom to remain

Truly these brave souls faced upon the gates of hell

Their courage pushing forward; the enemy finally fell

Perhaps these words should be engraved on their stone

“May mankind never have to face another gray dawn”

©Copyright WBrown2012. All Rights Reserved

5 June 2006


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    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @Vincent Moore...I read this one while appearing with Tim Bryce on WJTN in Jamestown NY. He was subbing for the regular host and did a tribute to D-Day. He called me up and asked if I had anything...his request inspired me to write this and the rest is history. Thanks for the great comment! WB

    • profile image

      Vincent Moore 

      6 years ago

      You captured the sadness of war, each man gave his all and many sacrificed themselves for freedom for all. Your video as well left me stunned and empty my friend. I bowed in silence with a prayer to the lost but NEVER forgotten by millions. I also prayed that we will never again see war again like that. Yet I am sad to think that man will always be greedy and want to take more than others want to give up. Peace and blessings to you my fine writer.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @breakfastpop...So good to see you back again. My traffic will go up now for sure! LOL! Thanks for those good words. WB

    • breakfastpop profile image


      6 years ago

      You are a genius! Up and awesome!

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @ImKarn23...The media barely mentions one of the two most significant events of WWII and history...the assault on Normandy and the dropping of the bomb on Japan..both events saved far more lives than they took but many paid with their life for it to happen. A nation which ignores its history is soon doomed to relive it. The America of today does not have the stomach for that much death in such a short time-frame. We want to believe that nothing is worth fighting for and yet expect that evil will leave us to our desires...never has happen and never will. Mankind will always have to fight to be truly free. Thanks much. WB

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 

      6 years ago

      omg..this poem is a tribute that any soldier - or their families - would love and appreciate! I wish more could read it - including civilians like myself - who is sniveling like a baby! This world is just pathetic..

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @drbj...Thanks much for the good words, Doc. You are so correct. WB

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      Only someone who has been through the horrors of war can really understand the feelings and memories it engenders, Wayne. But you came the closest with this remarkably well-written hub and effective video.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @Gypsy Rose Lee...That must have been a moment in the life of a 20 yr. old soldier. They also were probably told what they were up against so it was not a complete surprise. This is that moment when a soldier does his duty. I have only been there once and I will never forget it...a moment of deciding where my chips fell, what I would do. Once the decision was made...that was it, live or die. Thanks much. WB

      @Vellur...Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it. WB

      @CMerritt...My dad was lucky enough to reconnect with some of the guys in his old outfit that he trained with before heading to Europe. They had several reunions along with their wives over the last ten years of my dad's life. Even after all those years, there was a bond and a comaraderie there. Most all of them are gone now and the memories they had likely died with them as they seem to perfer in most cases. Thanks,Chris. WB

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 

      6 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      My Dad is 89 years old. He went through the beaches of Normandy about two weeks after the invasion. He was fortunate. He said there was still a large amount of debris in the area when he arrived. He is very humble about his time there. He talks very little about it. He said he joined the service right after High School, that it was just the right thing to do, it wasn't something he thought much about, it was his duty. He still has one of his best buddies from those days, he talks to on the phone about every month. There is no doubt, that WAS the greatest generation.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      6 years ago from Dubai

      Another great poem, may no more war be waged, let peace fill our earth. I hope this happens.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and awesome. Great poem which paints a picture of the terrors of war and what soldiers went through on Omaha Beach. The video was hard to watch and yes, may there never be another gray dawn like this. Passing it on.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      @fpherj48...So glad I could bring up some fond memories with this verse. That was a terrible time and a good time on the basis of the outcome for the world. I think it left us thinking that the good guys always prevail...too many today think nothing can be done to us. They will be sadly surprised. Thanks much. WB

      @PhillyDreamer...I doubt that America has the stomach for D-Day today. I fear people would be calling for Eisenhower's head with that much loss of life and the instantaneous reporting of it. Thanks much for the good words.

      @CMerritt...It is no wonder they are referred to as "The Greatest Generation". Sadly, the last of them are dying off rapidly. I hope they feel it was worth the price. I never heard my dad say that it was not. Thanks, Chris. WB

      @ThoughtSandwiches...You are very welcome, Thomas. I appreciate the read and the great comments. Thanks much. WB

      @Lord De Cross...Those were times when the world was being pulled apart and also bonded together all in the same timeframe. The countries of Europe and the USA fought for their very survival and created bonds that have stood the test of time. I hope we never forget the blood which was shed to weld those bonds and keep people free of tyranny. Thanks much. WB

      @billybuc...You are welcome, Bill. My dad went in at Utah where things were a little less chaotic. He was eventually wounded by a mortar round near Saint Lo France as they were routing the Germans out of France. He spent five months in rehab with an upper right arm wound and then was sent back to the lines...a task more difficult for him than the first one. He survived the war but wore the scars of it on his body for the rest of his life. Your comments regarding bravery are oh so true. Thanks much. WB

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      The bravery it took to step off of those landing crafts and face certain enemy fire...unprotected....just a valiant charge to establish a beachhead....that kind of courage is rarely seen. Thank you for a step back in time and memories of a time I hope we never again see.

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 

      6 years ago from New York

      As ThoughtSandwiches,

      We were drawn to Omaha beach and saw our fellow American falling for us and our Country. Most of us, had relatives that came back wounded and... THEY never wanted to talk about those tragic events. Finest poetry at its best; voting this up!


    • ThoughtSandwiches profile image


      6 years ago from Reno, Nevada


      I feel as if I have come to your literary party late...this being my first reading of your hubs. That said, it was certainly worth the wait if this fine tribute to that horrible day, is my first exposure. It will not, however, be the last.

      Great Job!


    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 

      6 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana


      Those words, accompanied by that video has left me with lump in my throat so big, I can barely swallow.

      As I watched that video, all that I could think of was:

      They were not liberals, conservatives, democrats or republicans....they were just Americans! All on the same side, fighting for a country they loved.

      you said it all with “May mankind never have to face another gray dawn”


    • PHILLYDREAMER profile image

      Jose Velasquez 

      6 years ago from Lodi, New Jersey

      i loved the imagery of this piece, you really painted the picture of the brutality of this battle.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Wayne...As always I enjoy my visits to your wonderful stories. I am always taken away somehwere special....on an adventure or a walk down Memory Lane...sometimes into a mystery.....but can count on returning, impressed and inspired.

      Today, I thought of My Dad in his Marine fatigues....leading a PT drill or maybe writing a letter to his wife back home.........Thank you, Wayne. UP++


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