Tag Archives: D-Day

How My Dad Taught Me Courage under Fire . by Alice B. Clagett

Filmed on 7 July 2016, revised 25 September 2019

  • VIDEO BY ALICE
  • SUMMARY OF THE VIDEO
  • MORE INFORMATION

Image: Sprinkler and Sunlight Rainbow 1, by Alice B. Clagett, 7 July 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: Sprinkler and Sunlight Rainbow 1, by Alice B. Clagett, 7 July 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Dear Ones,

A video with a story from my childhood, about fishing on the Chesapeake Bay, and about my father’s experience on Normandy Beach on D-Day. An edited Summary follows the video …

VIDEO BY ALICE

SUMMARY OF THE VIDEO

Hello, Dear Ones, It’s Alice.

I have a very short story to tell you from my childhood, and a lesson that my father taught me when I was about 13 years old.

In the summertime he used to take my siblings and me … whichever of those had arrived by then … out on the Chesapeake Bay in a motorboat. The mission of the day would be fishing, right? And so, that’s a pretty serious endeavor.

First we would learn how to navigate, because, if you go in the wrong place in the Chesapeake Bay, you run up onto the shallows, and foul up your propeller. Or else, you are in danger of being run down by the speedboats that go up and down the channel.

So you have to learn about the signal buoys, and what they mean about the channels that you can go in, and which side of the buoys you need to be on, to avoid other water traffic.

So that was the first lesson. And we got to a place that looked likely for fishing, right? The Chesapeake is a little choppy, and so the boat would be rocking back and forth. And then, when we would cast into the bay with our fishing lines, there would be a movement of the boat that would push it in a direction that frightened me, because it seemed likely that we would capsize … especially when my dad cast.

He was heavier than I, because he was grown, and so he would cast, and the boat would shift sideways, plus there would be the waves, and if there was another boat coming along, usually they went pretty fast, and so they would create that … I do not know what you call them … it is that wave front that goes along with them, and is much larger than the normal waves of a quiet bay.

I had all these things to contend with, because I was basically a landlubber. And I was about 13 years old. Even in those days, I always wore glasses … reading glasses, especially … and I carried them with me all the time, because I was an avid reader, right?

So I had my glasses, but I did not need them at the moment when I was fishing. I had my hands full, trying to figure out what to do. Plus, I was holding onto the edge of the boat. [chuckles]

The long and the short of it is: I sat down on my reading glasses. And I broke them in the middle. It was the first time I had ever done anything destructive to my reading glasses, ever … My father found out, and he was grimly angry about it. In those days, we did not have the money to put out for another pair of glasses.

So I got an explanation about how, even if we are in fear of death, because of the rolling of the boat, and the commotion of the predator/ prey relationship that was going on with regard to the fishing and the other boats going by, and so forth … no matter what circumstance we find ourselves in, we need to exercise neutral mind. We need to know where we are, and we need to avoid actions that will cost us in the future. In this case, it had to do with replacing the glasses.

I thought about that today, and I thought about my father’s life, before he had a family. I thought about how he was a member of the Seabees, and he was in charge of one of the barges that ferried the equipment and the people into the Beach of Normandy on D-Day.

And when all was said and done, for his entire platoon, no one survived but he. I think that the reason for that was that he was very cool under fire. And under life-threatening circumstances, he kept his head and his neutral mind, and preserved what he could … whether it was, hopefully, the lives of his crew … because I know it cost him, all his life … the thought that everyone had passed on but he … or whether it is just your own life, if that is all that you can do.

That was the same lesson that he was trying to teach me, when I sat on my reading glasses in the Chesapeake Bay.

So there you have it: My thought for the day. My thought about my father, who was so courageous under fire. And who bore with him, all his life, the sadness of so many deaths on that day.

In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars

This blog has been added here … Link: “Compendium: My Childhood and Family, and Later Years,” by Alice B. Clagett, compiled and published on 21 March 2020; republished on 29 March 2020 … https://wp.me/p2Rkym-haj ..

Image: Sprinkler and Sunlight Rainbow 2, by Alice B. Clagett, 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: Sprinkler and Sunlight Rainbow 2, by Alice B. Clagett, 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

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MORE INFORMATION

Chesapeakewatershedmap

Image: Map showing the Chesapeake Bay drainage basin, by Kmusser, from Wikimedia Commons … https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chesapeakewatershedmap.png … CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported

Image: Map showing the Chesapeake Bay drainage basin, by Kmusser, from Wikimedia Commons … https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chesapeakewatershedmap.png … CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported

Link: “Seabees,” in Wikipedia … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seabee ..

Link: “Invasion of Normandy,” in English Wikipedia … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_Normandy ..

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Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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stories by Alice, courage, neutral mind, predator-prey relationship, Normandy Beach, Seabees, survivor guilt, coolness under fire, Chesapeake Bay, D-Day, stories, photos by Alice,

For Our Fathers . a poem on war by Alice B. Clagett

Written in May 2004. Video filmed and published on 2 October 2014
Previously titled: For Our Fathers: A Poem on War . by Alice B. Clagett
Location: Pastorius Reservoir State Wildlife Area, La Plata County, Colorado, among other places

  • VIDEO BY ALICE
  • SUMMARY OF THE VIDEO
    • “For Our Fathers,” a Poem on War by Alice B. Clagett, May 2004
    • Postlude: Music of Chris Zabriskie and Scenes from Pastorius Reservoir State Wildlife Area, Colorado
  • PHOTOS BY ALICE: FROM THE YEAR 2012
  • PHOTOS BY ALICE: COLORADO SCENES
640px-Into_the_Jaws_of_Death_23-0455M_edit

Image: ‘Into the Jaws of Death” — US Army troops wade ashore on Omaha Beach on the morning of 6 June 1944. photo by Chief Photographer’s Mate Robert F. Sargent, from Wikimedia Commons, public domain

Image: ‘Into the Jaws of Death” — US Army troops wade ashore on Omaha Beach on the morning of 6 June 1944. photo by Chief Photographer’s Mate Robert F. Sargent, from Wikimedia Commons, public domain

Dear Ones,

Here is a video by me about a poem I wrote for my father. The Postlude features the music of Chris Zabriskie and scenes from Pastorius Reservoir State Wildlife Area, Colorado. A Summary follows the video …

VIDEO BY ALICE

SUMMARY OF THE VIDEO

This is Alice, Dear Ones.

I have another poem for you, that I wrote years ago for my father, who was in World War II, and saw some difficult action on D-Day, on the beach of Normandy.

Years ago, I was driving to work every day, through the Veterans Administration grounds in Los Angeles, because there were so many beautiful trees, and so much green grass there. No stoplights. It was great. So, one day I stopped, while driving to work, and I wrote this poem about the VA Grounds, and the veterans there. It is a poem for my father …

“For Our Fathers”
A Poem on War by Alice B. Clagett
Soundtrack and Words
May 2004

 

At first light, on the laid-back VA grounds —
. . . . . a land of not so well clipped lawns,
. . . . . and blooming jacaranda trees
. . . . . and blousy buildings, sprouted long before
. . . . . . . . . . the first computer cast its eerie glow
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . upon the shadow that had been our history —

Old men wait for the bus, unmoored
. . . . . from the stale sameness of the working day, and
. . . . . all adrift in that sour sea we call ‘retirement’.

These are the once-sung heroes
. . . . . of the ancient wars,
. . . . . who fought for freedom on unfriendly shores

. . . . . and who, returning, found
. . . . . . . . . . no peace of mind
. . . . . . . . . . in a far too civil union,

. . . . . who wake, each night,
. . . . . . . . . . dreaming atrocities
. . . . . . . . . . dreaming the sloe-eyed death
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . of their personal dreams
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . on the altar of our nation.

Now here they sit,
. . . . . this one nearly blind,
. . . . . and that one racked by gout,
. . . . . another, legless,
. . . . . . . . . . wielding his wheelchair like a Grand Prix pro

Each offering his friends the sweetest gift —
. . . . . a cheerful countenance
. . . . . to brave the gathering storm —

. . . . . and hoping, in his heart, that he may be
. . . . . . . . . . finally on his way home
. . . . . . . . . . to a land of perfect freedom.

Postlude: Music of Chris Zabriskie and Scenes from Pastorius Reservoir State Wildlife Area, Colorado

[The stately instrumental music at the end of the video is “Prelude No. 13” from the album “Preludes” by Chris Zabriskie, CC BY 4.0, and scenes from Pastorius Reservoir in Colorado.]

In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars

This blog has been added here … Link: “Compendium: My Childhood and Family, and Later Years,” by Alice B. Clagett, compiled and published on 21 March 2020; republished on 29 March 2020 … https://wp.me/p2Rkym-haj ..

PHOTOS BY ALICE: FROM THE YEAR 2012

Image: “Rock at Cooper Falls,” by Alice B. Clagett, 2012, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Rock at Cooper Falls,” by Alice B. Clagett, 2012, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Power Plant and Lowering Sky, Arizona,” by Alice B. Clagett, 2012, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Power Plant and Lowering Sky, Arizona,” by Alice B. Clagett, 2012, CC BY-SA 4.0

PHOTOS BY ALICE: COLORADO SCENES

Image: “Barbed Wire and Mountains”, by Alice B. Clagett, 2 October 2014, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Barbed Wire and Mountains”, by Alice B. Clagett, 2 October 2014, CC BY-SA 4.0

DSC08463 - Copy

Image: “Dam Dike,” by Alice B. Clagett, 2 October 2014, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Dam Dike,” by Alice B. Clagett, 2 October 2014, CC BY-SA 4.0

DSC08476

Image: “Reservoir and Gold-and-Rainbow Sunlight,” by Alice B. Clagett, 2 October 2014, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Reservoir and Gold-and-Rainbow Sunlight,” by Alice B. Clagett, 2 October 2014, CC BY-SA 4.0

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Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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poetry, war, power over, PTSD, poetry by Alice, post-traumatic stress disorder, Chris Zabriskie, World War II, D-Day, Normandy Beach, stories by Alice, stories, war, photos by Alice,