Homage to Bastille Day

In memory of those who have been affected by a string of terrorist attacks involving lorries to kill, starting with Bastille Day, July 14, 2016.

 

July 14, 2016 – Bastille Day

Nice, France

 

The parade clogs the pedestrian lined streets

Children hoisted onto shoulders seek the best seat

Traditionally clad soldiers atop horses flanked by armed men

Patriotic music doesn’t faze their stoic expression

Flags can be spotted throughout the crowd

Proud citizens wave and cheer rather loud

The celebration launched into a firework display

Explosions turned to screams with people running away

A menacing white lorry mowed through the town

A sick game of bowling knocked 434 people down

Shots were fired to the horror of all

Helpless bystanders could do little but watch victims fall

 

December 19, 2016 – Christmas Market

Berlin, Germany

 

A gentle glow illuminates the square adorned in Christmas lights

Festive tents side by side, full of trinkets and delights

Families stroll beneath the crescent moon

Children express excitement at the impending arrival of Kris Kringle, soon

Merchants advertise booths of treats for sale

The romantic holiday spirit is straight from a fairytale

As the clock struck eight, the enchantment turned stale

A truck lumbering towards the market turned everyone pale

In a blink of an eye the stalls took the blow

The driver sped on as the list of injured continued to grow

Down the street he barreled until the lorry took a lurch

Until finally he crashed in front of Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

 

March 22, 2017 – Westminster

London, England

 

The Houses of Parliament gleam in the afternoon sun

Tourists pose for photos, having their fun

Men and women in suits scurry from place to place

Pubs filled with afternoon drinkers quickly lose space

The River Thames sparkles with the reflection of the sun

Couples take their selfies on the bridge to the count of three-two-one

Just another normal afternoon it would seem

A man of ill intentions set the stage for his scheme

Unsuspecting people strolled around Big Ben

As this terrorist drove a stolen lorry into people on the bridge again and again

His main target was Parliament, while the prime minister was within

The lorry crashed near Benny and the man tried to break in

Brave police took him down, but not before losing one of their own

Scrambling onlookers took cover behind buildings of stone

As hours passed, the injured count grew to fifty

Six confirmed dead, a dark day for London city

Londoners, however, refused to let terrorism beat them down

They banded together to help the injured, remaining proud

 

Author’s Notes:

I have had the privelege to travel to many wonderful countries and have fallen in love with a nomadic lifetyle that allows me to get a taste of the culture in each place. Unfortunately, some of my favorite cities have been horribly targeted for terrorism with the use of lorries

in the past year, some more than once. I began writing out my homage to Bastille Day a few months ago in an effort to pay a tribute to the families that were affected with the arrival of the one year anniversary of the attack. At first I began with just the poem about France, but then upon researching greater details realized I had to include two other countries that were similiarly affected, those being Germany and England. Over time, these events become statistics to sit in our history books and briefly discuss when the anniversary comes around. I purposefully wrote in the present tense in an effort to remember that the people and families affected by these events are still feeling these emotions as if they happened today. Nothing can bring back their peace of mind and their loved ones. I am thankful every day for the life and experiences I’ve been given and it’s a great reminder to be thankful for the moments I have left. Never take life for granted. It can all change in one instance.