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WWII Visions of Hell

September 2006

I have always been interested in World War II, partly because my Grandma's brothers all fought in the great war; on Britain's side. (She had approximately four brothers in the war.) My interest really got flowing when I watched Saving Private Ryan, and realized this is what my Great- Uncles went through. (One of my Great-Uncle's fought in D-Day).
On the night of watching Saving Private Ryan I fell asleep with World War II images in my mind. Sometime in my dream, I saw the movie's beginning, (on the boat before D-Day) like I was there. I even heard my breathing, my heart-beating, and felt the shaking of my body. I was in the back, behind all the other men, when the door swung open and I watched as my friends all fell into the water, dead, and bullet shots sounded. I was petrified, yet I stormed on. Men beside me fell as I ran, shooting as hard as I could at the enemy line. I felt so scared that at any moment I would die, yet I didn't. I awoke with a start at approximately 12:00AM. I couldn't sleep, not after what I saw. Not after I "experienced" World War II. I stayed awake that night, and waited until morning to finally sleep again.

A few days later I traveled to my Grandma's house, and I knew I had to ask her what happened to my Great-Grandfather. She was close to tears as she began, but she stayed strong until the end of her story.
My Great-Grandfather who had participated in D-Day, had in fact survived, but after that he never had been the same. In that day, he had witnessed his friends head being pierced by a bullet, and several others being blown up by a bomb.
I thought that was it, it was the end, but two nights later, I had a different vision. I was walking through the battlefield, gripping my dog tags with one hand, while my other gripped my gun. For some reason I wasn't shooting, I wasn't fighting, men around me were dying yet I did nothing. I was still petrified, terrified, but I knew I had to do something, just, I wasn't sure what.
Eventually my troop and I made our way to the wall, and we took no survivors. We blew them all to the heavens with grenades, and when we were finished, I sat down and cried. My eyes landed on the battlefield, and all the men down there, all of them, they had been living less than a day ago, now they were gone... I woke up, tears streaming down my face. Then, I heard it. Gun shots in the distance. "Oh boy, another shooting." I thought as shootings weren't rare in my county. I closed my eyes, but this time, I heard someone enter my room. I had no idea who it could be as my mother and sister were out staying with a sick aunt. I was afraid, when that feeling to do something came over me again. My eyes popped open, only to terrify me more. A man was hovering over me. I wanted to scream, to plead for mercy, but I couldn't, I was trapped. When my eyes adjusted to the light, I realized, the man was wearing a British WWII private uniform, and it took me sometime to realize this was my Great-Uncle. He knelt by my bed and told me, "The past is the past, don't keep your head in it." My eyes finally focused perfectly, only to watch him disappear.
As I saw the last of him I realized he had a bullet wound in his arm. But he had survived the war! He had! He had!
For some odd reason, I fell asleep fast. My last dream of World War II, happened that night. I was once again in the eyes of a Private. This time, no gun lay in my hand, no shooting sounded in the distance. I stood, only to be wrapped in a hug by a woman. The woman let go and I recognized her as my Grandma! She smiled, tears rolling down her cheek. Then she looked into my eyes, and asked, "Where's Peter and John?" My lip trembled, as hers did, and I knew these were my other Great-uncles (Or, my "brothers") I awoke with a startle, and knew this was the end.
WWII, which had once been foggy to me, now lay clear in my mind. I had experienced the war, and I would never disrespect or overlook it again.
Thanks for reading.
My story isn't the best, and it may not make sense, but it does mean something to me.

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