Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge: Day 1…D-Day

Posted: May 12, 2015 in Misc. Photo Challenges, Writing
Tags: , , , , ,

Emilio Pasquale at “Photos by Emilio” invited me to take part in the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge. The challenge is  to “post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge”.  I’ve been neglecting the writing part of my blog for a bit due mostly to a combination of my part time job and spending time outside because it’s spring.  This will be a good opportunity to bring the writing back in and combine it with the photos.  So thanks, Emilio, for helping me get back on track.  And be sure to check out Emilio’s blog and his wonderful photos.

For my nominee, I choose Allan at  Allan’s last job before retirement was working as an electrician on the Golden Gate Bridge and he has some amazing photos and stories.  Allan, you’re under no obligation to accept the challenge, just take it as the compliment it’s meant to be.


I’d never been to Omaha, Nebraska before June 6, 1944, and I never went there afterwards, even though it didn’t have a beach.  Never bought a German car, either.  My ideas of hell bear a strong resemblance to what I saw that day.

We went of the sides of our Higgins boat early that morning, the water stretching endlessly ahead of us and then the open, flat beach.  Behind that, the Germans and their guns lay in wait, knowing we’d have to come to them, through the water and across the mine-strewn beach.  How in God’s name we were expected to make it in alive, I’ll never know. Many of us didn’t.  My best friend drowned right next to me, in water turning red with our blood,  held under by the weight of his pack and the water trapped by his helmet. Bodies were everywhere but the only way was forward so I kept on moving, just hoping to stay alive.  Was I scared?  What do you think?  But what else could I do?  Just keep moving and, if you were a religious man, pray.  Thank God, Rommel wasn’t there that day or the results might have been different.

I still dream about that day sometimes all these years later.  And I’ve never gone back.  Some things are best left in the past.  But I still remember.  They say war is hell.  Most of them have no idea.  Unfortunately, too many of us do.

  1. Very poignant. Well written

  2. Lignum Draco says:

    Nice piece of writing. I instantly thought of the images from the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan.

  3. Allan G. Smorra says:

    A thought provoking well-written piece, Janet. Thanks. Ω

  4. Emilio Pasquale says:

    Beautifully written, Janet. I almost believed you lived it, it was so real. I might try writing more one of these days. This just seemed to excite me, somehow. Maybe it was your creativity!

    • Awww, thanks so much, Emilio. Although this was based on my f-i-l’s experience in most part, I’ve read a lot about various wars, particularly WWI and II. We were fortunate enough to visit Normandy a few years ago and to have a guide for two days of tours, about 10 hours each. It was amazing!


  5. Great piece, Janet. It’s as though you were there amidst all the horror of war.

  6. billgncs says:

    yep – he was 19 when he hit the beach.

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