Today is National Airborne Day!
So here's an airborne poem:
The sun was sinking slowly down the hot Tunisian hills
When we lined up at the airfield on that broiling summer’s eve;
We were tense with great excitement, we were raring for the kill,
And the pride was stiff within us of the Airborne on our sleeve.
We were green but quite undaunted, we were eager for a spree,
Though ‘twas hell that we were nearing on the hills of Sicily.
We took off in the darkness, smoothly forming into flights
Two hundred mighty transports throbbed out bravely in the night
We lost our bragging voices and our joking lost its fun
We were praying, we were silent, as we readied for the run.
Sarge called “Ready”, we were ready, we lined up above the sea
And we wondered what was waiting on the hills of Sicily.
"Saint Anthony!" We put ourselves in God’s almighty power
We jumped although the wind was screaming thirty miles an hour
Around us searchlights glistened, shellfire burst apart the sky
But we tumbled from the heavens with the good old Injun cry.
Before us lay a battle, grim from sea to bloody sea,
But we showed ourselves true soldiers on the hills of Sicily.
We have won this little island, we have won her with our blood
We have fought her menfolk, dug our graves and foxholes in her mud.
We have loved her, and ‘twas for her weeping people that we fought,
We have wept upon her, cursed her for the sorrow she has brought.
We are leaving for Salerno and the crags of Italy,
But Sicily’s soil is sacred to our comrades’ memory.
For their canopy forever is her flawless azure sky
And above them, wailing, mourning, is her foreign sea-gulls’ cry,
And her sunny sea is lapping at their gravestones as they lie
Where they gave their lives for freedom on the hills of Sicily.
posted by Mary Rose