Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: OVERSEAS VACATION (08/13/15)
- TITLE: Return to Bastogne
By Sherry Eastwood
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It was 1986, and though it was the coldest winter in 50 years in Europe, I looked forward to a vacation that would have me travelling back in time to one of the most famous battle scenes of WW11.
The icy sheen reflected the tall fragrant pine trees onto the packed snow of the ground. The sky was grey and overcast. The several layers of clothing I was wearing, along with a quilted, down filled coat and fur lined boots, made it awkward to walk. As I slid across the frozen terrain, and then made my way up to the top of the American WWII monument at Bastogne, my father's voice echoed in my mind of the bitter and bloody winter of 50 years earlier.
"Hey, Buddy, you better put that cigarette down and jump in that foxhole", the soldier in the closest foxhole shouted. But all was quiet. My Dad neatly squished the nearly finished cigarette out saving it for another brief lull in the bloody fight against the Germans. With his rifle laying on his lap, he sat there looking up at the serene scene in the frigid blue sky.
Suddenly, he was jolted back to reality! An explosion of bright light flashed, and with a thunderous deafening sound, the bomb came crashing down creating a cavernous hole in the snowy, frozen ground!
"Hey, Buddy", my Dad yelled out to the soldier who had given him the prophetic warning. "Thanks, I hopped into my foxhole as soon as I saw the light."
The soldier raised his head up from his foxhole and looked around. He yelled back, "You are one lucky son of a gun! You should be a goner. Look at your rifle!"
My Dad popped up and looked outside his foxhole. Only a few feet away lay the mangled piece of metal that seconds ago had been his rifle lying unscathed upon his lap.
How did he escape without a scratch? The flash of light comes from a shell that has already exploded! Yet, there he was safe in his foxhole!
Looking out over the now peaceful battle grounds of Bastogne, I was overwhelmed with gratitude and pride for my Dad, who along with all the other American and brave allied soldiers made it possible for me to be here now.
Looking up at the same serene and frigid sky my Dad had viewed so many years ago, I thanked God He had sent His protective light to my Dad while in harm's way. HE was there then, so I could be here now.
Those who love me, I will deliver, I will protect those who know my name. Psalm 91:14 NRSV
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