Walk completed August 28, 2011

Monday, June 6, 2011

Day 6, June 6,2011 -- Perranporth to Mawgan Porth (Trevarrian)


Observation post/pill box
 It was 17 miles to Mawgan Porth today, over grass-covered coastal bluffs scoured by coastal winds. The weather was dry, sunny and windy, but I never really noticed the terrain or the weather. All day I was consumed by an eerie presence.


Gun emplacent looking towards ocean

Sixty-seven years ago, hundreds of thousands American, British, and Canadian troops were gathered in southern England undergoing training. Reminders of their presence remain all along the coast. England was a dangerous place back then.

On this date in 1944, the troops left England for a more dangerous place – the Normandy beaches of France. They were boys, really – 18, 19, 20-year old boys breaking through the surf. By the time they reached the top of the beaches, they had become men.

Barracks
They left this place long ago, yet I could still sense their presence. I could sense their tobacco smoke. I could hear their chit-chat, their nervous laughter, their silent prayers. They knew what they were facing. I could hear their pencils scratching out final letters to parents, sweethearts, wives – to children they would never know.


Munitions bunker
 Three thousand of them lost their lives on that one horrific day 67 years ago today. The ensuing days, months, years, decades have taken many more. Some are still living. A few have changed into toothless old men, now confined to wheelchairs. Others can still drive a car. Or a golf ball. But not one of them has the same vitality he had on that fateful day.

Saying thank you seems so inadequate, but what else can we do? Thank you for your valor, your sacrifice. Thank you for making it possible for me to walk where you once stood. Some day I may walk where you fell, where you got up, where you did your job.

Because of you, tomorrow was a better day.


© 2011 Ken Klug

2 comments:

  1. Ken, that is so moving! Terry

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  2. Thanks Ken, truly beautiful.

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