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She Wore a Ribbon of Red, White, and Blue

by: Guildford Windley

She wore a Ribbon of Red, White, and Blue
It was at the state fair, that summer day
She had a ribbon in her hair, Red, white and blue
After we rode on the carousel, I propose
I was all dress in my new army uniform
As I got down on my knee, she said yes
That is how my childhood friend became my wife
We did not have much money it was a simple wedding
She had on her mother’s wedding gown, and a ribbon of red, white and blue in her hair
I was nineteen she was eighteen
We only had one night together
A family friend let us use a small cottage on his farm.
The very next day I had to leave to return to my army unit
She wore a ribbon in her hair of red, white and blue to send me off at the rail station. I can still see her standing on the platform as the train pulled away
She took off the ribbon of red, white and blue
And was waving it in the air as the train pulled out of sight that would be the last time I would see her alive
Being from a small farm in Central California going to the east coast was quite an adventure; I never realize how big this country is and all the beauty that we saw made me marvel
After six weeks at our new camp in South Carolina
We were to ship out no one know where we were going, but we all know we were heading for the war in Europe
I had been writing my beloved every day and telling
Her about all the things that I have seen
She wrote me to and would always send a picture of her with a ribbon of red, white and blue in her hair
The voyage across the sea was not easy, a lot of us got very sick and the ship was crowded
Will we made it to the south coast of England
The word was there was going to be an invasion but no one knows where and when
I keep writing letters to my darling, but I had not gotten a letter from her for a while, then on the first of June her letters arrive there were thirty –five letters and each had a ribbon of red, white and blue in them
Well for the next couple of days I was busy reading the guys tease me about the ribbons, but I did not care they were from the love of my life
Will before I knew it the ships were underway, the god I have never seen so many ships there were thousands of ships of all kinds
We were told that we were heading across the English Channel
It was the sixth of June as we were loaded into the boats, we headed for shore
I recall the rumble of the engine and the rocking of the boat, I had my head down close to the well deck
I could hear the sound of explosions but I just looked down at the deck
As we hit the beach the ramp drop to show a broad expanse of sand, barriers of barbed wire and other fortifications
Bullets were flying everywhere as we rush of the boat several men went down within the next few moments
I could hear screams of pain and crying and lots of yelling as I ran up the beach to the first sand dune
I hit the ground as bullets fly by, everywhere explosions sand flying in the air
The Serge said let’s go men; I jump up and started to go when suddenly there was a white flash
That was my last moment on earth; my hold left side was blown away, that was seventy- four years ago
Although my earthy life was gone I would return to my earthy remains burned in Normandy France
For years that girl with the ribbon in her hair
Would come with my family at first, then as time passed and my mom and dad had died it would be her; she never remarried for she could only give her heart to her one and only.
I would be waiting when she comes each year was just the same she would place a bouquet of red roses wrapped in a ribbon of red, white and blue.
As she stood there with tears in her eyes my spirit would try to comfort her I would engulf her in my essence, and at that moment my soul would touch her soul, and I would whisper my love for her.
As the years went by I could see each change as she aged from a young beautiful girl of 18 with auburn hair, to an elderly woman with a face full life her hair now almost all white. Ah but she still as beautiful as the day way back then at the fair when I asked for her hand.
But this year I shall not return to that grave, for I now stand at heaven’s gate, for her soul is on its way
There over there as a figure appears through the clouds, she approaches, my girl so young with a ribbon of red, white and blue in her hair
As we meet our arms wrapped around each other
We kiss, and turn I take my girl’s hand what we did not have in life, we will have in the afterlife and it will be forever!
Guildford H Windley
November 14, 2018

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