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My lungs are filled with gunpowder smoke. I’m overcome by fear and adrenaline. Lieutenant Ryan walks up to me. In an unsure voice he says, “Are you ready Private?”
“Always sir,” I sound more confident than I feel. My ears block out all the screaming men. A soldier rams me into the dangerous sea. The water makes it harder to run to land. I trample bodies of dead soldiers. Omaha Beach is overwhelmed by departed soldiers. Once on land, it gets worse. Without another thought I run and shoot. German soldiers fall to their knees. They are left there to decompose. Their scarlet blood washing my unharmed body. I run past my fellow American soldiers and their motionless bodies filled with rigor mortis. There is no time to grieve out here. It’s do or die. Bombs fall in every possible direction.
“Private Gabriel!” His voice is a whisper in the chaos of war. The Lieutenant calls to me from a small cave located approximately 12 yards away. I run to the safety of the cave and hide with my fellow war warriors.
We watch poor men die. They scream in pain as the bullets of the Germans penetrate their skin.
“It‘s raining blood out there,” The sergeant startles me. I don’t look away from the battle. I’m tempted to grab my gun and go out to fight again. Lieutenant Ryan firmly grasps my shoulder.
“We need to destroy their base .” Sergeant spoke with power.
“What could we possibly do? There is not enough of us to fight back .” I mumbled. A soldier looked at me in disgust. It’s not wise to be afraid at a time of battle. I know that but it’s not sensible to fight when we are clearly outnumbered, either.
“You’re an American soldier! There‘s no room for weeping in here!” Lieutenant Ryan’s voice boomed in the crammed cave. My knees were weak. I sat down and thought about my words. The other soldiers looked at me in disappointment.
“We need a quick and well thought out plan. One that assures our mission will be successful and that will take the fewest lives. We cannot risk to lose more soldiers.” My words astonished even me. I know I had everyone’s attention. The Sergeant and Lieutenant nodded in agreement.
“We must stick together. The Nazis are positioned and well armed across this beach. They have fighter planes as well. It will be hard but doable. All we need is the full commitment of you men.” An estimate of 22 soldiers are in here. All were up to the challenge. Including me.
Lieutenant Ryan assures us that there is a part of the beach abandoned. We would have to move west and go around.
“Cutting through the middle would be suicide,” said the Sergeant. The plan is simple but well thought out. Lieutenant Ryan is leading us. He is the only one that knows the beach. I’m looking out at the bloody scene. I take a moment of silence. These brave soldiers deserve it. The Sergeants voice is calm. He checks that we are well equipped and in one piece.
“Are you ready soldiers!?” Sergeant yells at the top of his lungs.
“Yes sir!” All soldiers scream in unison.
The Lieutenant leads us out. We are back on the dead mans land.
“Christopher cover us!” He runs to the left side of Lieutenant Ryan. I’m on his right watching men fall and plea for their life. I’m tempted to help the poor men and stay by their side as their soul leaves their body on Omaha Beach. That’s not my job here, though. A bomb falls a few yards away from us. Soldiers of both sides are tossed in ever direction. We move faster.
“My chest! I‘m down! I...” Christopher is now dead. He has joined the other soldiers. Their are only 21 soldiers left. I make an effort to move his body. The Sergeant pulls me back to the Lieutenant’s right side.
“It‘s not our mission. Do or die! Remember that Private!” The Sergeant is a s lifeless as Christopher. He is a corpse with a voice.
More Nazi planes have arrived. That means more deaths. Both American and German. I watch as they drop torpedoes at our ships.
“Are you going to shoot Private!?” Lieutenant Ryan nudges me. I have not shot one bullet since I’ve come out of the cave. The men behind me steal the guns of other soldiers cold, pale palms. I start shooting at Nazi planes. One plane goes down easily. It heads right toward us.
“Move out of the way!” I scream with intensity. Men dive left and right. The plane causes a colossal explosion. The explosion has created a crater on Omaha Beach. Once the smoke has cleared I look to where the plane fell. Instantly, I realize something horrendous. I’ve just help kill 14 American soldiers. Including Sergeant. One thing is missing from his carcass. A voice. Other than that he looks the same. Only 7 remain in our mission. Once the fire settled down we kept on moving.
Once we reach the “abandoned” land we rest.
“It has been hard. We lost many brave men. We do not know how. That is not important though. We made a promise and we will keep it.” Lieutenant Ryan sits down and inhales slowly after his speech. I regretfully walk up to him. In a whisper I speak into his ear.
“I shot down the plane sir. I must take blame for the deaths of the brave soldiers.” He stares at me for what seems like forever. Finally, he speaks.
“I know. The shooting was friendly fire. It was not your intention. Private you must learn that we all make mistakes. We are human after all.” I don’t try to fight him. Those were not my intentions. He’s right.
I observe the few soldiers left. They wipe smoke off their face. Suddenly, bullets are being shot. Nazis come out of thin air. We hide behind the safety of a boulder. The sound of gunshots fill the air. My gun quickly runs out of bullets. I throw my gun and grab my grenades. Once I take the tab out, I throw them over. The screams of Germans are heard across the beach.
“Throw them to the sand! Create smoke so that we can run towards them! Hurry Private Gabriel we are quickly running out of bullets!” Lieutenant Ryan screams at me. I do as he says. Once the grenade creates the smoke I grab my knife. I run towards the confused Nazis. One by one I shank them. They fall fast. Their blood explodes from their body.
The smoke clears. Every Nazi soldier is dead and we all survived. My face is painted red. My knife is covered with repulsive Nazi blood.
“Wash your face with the ocean’s water.” An unfamiliar soldier speaks up.
I run to the salt water and clean my face and knife. As I’m walking back I look down. It looks like the Earth is bleeding. The ocean is violet. Blood is pouring out of the seams of the Earths crust.
“We need to keep moving. Take the Nazis weapons.” Lieutenant commands and we listen. I snatch the guns, knives, and grenades from the Nazis. They won’t need it where they’re going.
We walk only for minutes and another attack is put in place. This time we have no protection. We shoot with everything we have. Grenades are coming at us. Bullets are breaking through my skin. Multiple all at once. It feels as if all the soldiers are aiming for me. Axis and allies. I fall to my knees. The scarlet liquid is coming out of me.
“Private! Come on stay with us! Come on Gabriel!” Lieutenant Ryan is holding me up.
I feel my body getting weaker. I, Private Gabriel, am joining the other soldiers souls. My body will now decompose. I will be another body bag. My body will now be soulless. The Earth will bleed my blood. I will turn the ocean violet. Others will trample on my body. They will steal my weapons. The experience is more relaxing. I’m gradually going into a deep, never-ending sleep. My eyes are now shut...forever.