Take a moment on this day, Veterans Day, known to my British counterparts as Remembrance Day, to reflect upon the incredible sacrifices it’s taken to make this incredible Nation what it is.
I leave you with this monologue from Shakespeare’s Henry V, a speech which I feel sums the spirit of the Fighting Man up quite well.
(from Henry V, spoken by King Henry)Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;Or close the wall up with our English dead.In peace there’s nothing so becomes a manAs modest stillness and humility:But when the blast of war blows in our ears,Then imitate the action of the tiger;Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,Disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage;Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;Let pry through the portage of the headLike the brass cannon; let the brow o’erwhelm itAs fearfully as doth a galled rockO’erhang and jutty his confounded base,Swill’d with the wild and wasteful ocean.Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,Hold hard the breath and bend up every spiritTo his full height. On, on, you noblest English.Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,Have in these parts from morn till even foughtAnd sheathed their swords for lack of argument:Dishonour not your mothers; now attestThat those whom you call’d fathers did beget you.Be copy now to men of grosser blood,And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,Whose limbs were made in England, show us hereThe mettle of your pasture; let us swearThat you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;For there is none of you so mean and base,That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:Follow your spirit, and upon this chargeCry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’