Sitting here and feeling my mind slipping back to one summer’s afternoon when I had found a box, and went to be told the stories behind the photos found in that box. Having asked if all was like in all the old war movies, and I was told to sit down, so that I could be filled in on some of the stories behind those old black and white photos. Where to begin? Was what was then asked and I was told that these black and white photos didn’t capture the skin from the shock of a shell or the memory of smell, and if red is/was for Hell, the war was in colour.
From shipyard to sea, from factory to sky, and from rivet to rifle, from boot camp to battle cry. Infantry, tanks, and smoldering airplane wings; the men and material poured in as if a dam had broken, and the pictures never showed the true colour from the flash of a gun, and showing a soldier who’s done.
I wore an oxygen mask up high as a gunner on a daylight bombing run, and felt its cold clammy hand holding my face until the bombing run was done. I also crawled over coconut logs and fresh corpses in the coral sand in the pacific, and like today with the current war blue stars in the windows were traded in for gold. I felt the nearly frozen mud and the crossfire that stitched up soldiers into a blanket of dead as the nights grew colder freezing those who had fallen.
I stood at the rail and helped hold a canvas bag over the railing, as we released the dead, while the ship still sailed. I saw and felt metal chewed up and churned, while the bodies burned, and victory was earned, but at what cost, and what good did it do? Hopefully for you and your sons and daughters we gave you a life full of colour and a world without war.
These old black and white photos don’t show the colour of my skin that was once pierced by an enemy thorn, which struck me straight through my core. And I have now lain in my grave since I was the age of 21. Long before you were born, or bore you as my son, or had grandchildren to tell these stories to.
Copyright Timberwolf International LTD: September 2015 – 10