For Children

Jacob Abroon

Jackson Abrahams: My Adventures in D-Day

5th & 6th Grade Prose Winner

My name is Jackson Edison Abrahams. I lived in New York, since I was born there on May 19th, 1921. At age 20, I joined the army, in 1941. Since then, I experienced things I had never even dreamed of, such as intense training, odd food, etc. Over a course of about two and a half years in the army, my story leads up to this:
June 6th, 1944
My fellow troops and I were sitting in the back of the plane. I sat next to my friend Judah, but he didn’t talk too much. He was staring at the floor, moving his lips slowly. Though, I was thinking of something else. Earlier, only a few hours before, Supreme Allied Commander Eisenhower talked to us paratroopers about what we were going to experience tonight, and encouraged us. Most of what I remembered was, “You are about to embark on the great crusade,” and I also remembered the most touching sentence, “The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and the prayers of liberty loving peoples will march with you.” At that moment, I was thinking about those words. They would never leave me. Suddenly, I woke up from my memory, and heard pounding at the plane’s side. The back door, the one I was closest to, slowly opened as a red light started to beep. And for the first time, I saw the dark, gloomy sky of Normandy, France. Judah, hundreds of other paratroopers, and I were about to storm onto the Normandy beaches in France, break through the Atlantic Wall, and retake
French soil. We were about to fight in D-Day.

“We’re being hit by German defenses!” Our pilot shouted over the harsh, rushing winds, and German bullets hitting the plane’s side. “Jump out now, if you want to live!” I looked down. The rushing winds were hitting my face like knives. The rain splattered all over my uniform and helmet, wiping off the black face paint I put on to blend in. Thousands of feet below, I could see the rippling waves of the ocean, filled with paratroopers. “Jump already!” Someone shouted. “Here goes nothing,” I thought. And I dropped down hundreds of feet down to Normandy, releasing my parachute moments after.

As I fell, the wind scraped against my face. The rain splattered all over my body. The darkness was the least of my worries, with only the full moon as light. Finally, I felt my feet hit the water, as I plummeted into the ocean. At first, I thought that I would slowly float back up to the water, but with all the gear on me, I didn’t come up too easily. All over me I had goods to help me survive if I got lost somewhere in France alone, in case of a bad landing. I had two parachutes, a loaded rifle, hand and smoke grenades, mines, a helmet, water, a compass, a spoon, a radio, French money, food, a gas mask, a life jacket, three knives, jump boots, a padded drop bag, a jump jacket, a pair of pants, a bayonet, a trench knife, a first aid kit, a raincoat, etc. In my opinion, some of those things were completely useless. For a few seconds, I had no idea what to do, except wave my arms and legs, trying to push myself out of the water. That was completely useless, though. Suddenly, I knew what I had to do. Frantically, I went through all the materials on me, and threw out my radio, raincoat, a knife, my parachute, and a quarter of my food. Although I had to throw away a few important things, I was able to float back up to the surface.

Almost instantly, I was met by dozens of bullets whizzing around me. The water was red with blood. And only in the far distance was Omaha Beach, the beach where I was supposed to land. I looked around where I could see, and saw a one of a kind sight—thousands of paratroopers floating down from the sky. Some were hit by bullets midair. There was even one man I could see in the distance, whose parachute was stuck on the tip of a church steeple! 

Suddenly, as the bullets hit the surface, the icy water sprayed all over my face. “I have to get to shore!” I thought. Immediately, I began wading towards the shore, only to know I would be met by thousands of deadly ways to kill me. My captain told me before the invasion that the Nazis had planted over six million mines in the beaches we were going to land on. There would be wooden X-shaped blockers in the sand below the water to sink our incoming ships. And worst of all, there would be thousands of Nazis firing bullets at us. We would have to dodge all of them. 

Almost half an hour later, I reached the deadly shore, only knowing there was the deadliest mission I would ever face awaiting me. I started running towards the Atlantic Wall, firing bullets at every Nazi that I could see. Suddenly, I felt a pain in my arm. As I looked towards it, I saw why. I was shot. I fell on the sand, grasping my arm. More bullets whizzed around me. “Hey Jackson,” someone whispered. “Jackson, come here. We’re nursing the wounded.” Immediately, I knew it was Judah. I crawled over to the spot where Judah and other soldiers were hiding behind a large cliff, out of fire from the Nazis. As soldiers tended to my arm, Judah and I talked. When I was treated, surprisingly, none of the healthy soldiers attacked the Nazis. “It’s too dangerous out there!” one said. I was very surprised at how cowardly these soldiers were. Suddenly, Judah whispered to me. “The men are crazy, let’s go fight how we should.” I grinned as we left the protection of the cliff and did our duty. And we won.