Monday, April 23, 2007

Stand Fast!


Gallant Color Bearer_Winslow Homer
from the cover of Harpers weekly September 20th 1862



This is an excerpt from a post I wrote almost two years ago when the talk of abandoning our position in Iraq started becoming louder by those that found it politically expedient to just throw down their arms and run away in fear. See if you relate to the soldier in my example or the modern politically expedient politician of the democrat persuasion.

dixieland.mp3

I consider myself to be an amateur historian. I like to go back in time and try to get into the minds of people from the past to try and understand why things happened the way they did. I know from reading many accounts that were written by soldiers on both sides of the United States Civil War. Those soldiers had to take a “stand fast” mindset when going into battle. Imagine yourself and many of your friends that you grew up with going off to fight for your country. The commanders are people that you have known your whole life. Now you are told you will be facing the enemy today with all your friends. They move you up to the front and you wait. Then it comes, the first volley. You see the line in front stagger from the withering fire and people start falling over. The screams of pain are deafening and there is lead flying all around you. The men on either side of you are both lying on the ground one is dead the other is wounded horribly. The Captain then tells you to move up to front next. He commands; Ready and you level your weapon, aim you look down the barrel but you see only gray smoke and then fire! You see the enemy soldiers falling over and gray smoke is everywhere and it is getting harder to see. Then you start to reload your weapon and then the volley from the enemy comes in and people are again falling down all around. You feel like throwing down your weapon and fleeing from this madness but you just can’t. Your friends, your brothers are depending on you to hold the line. You stand fast, you show them that you are willing to fight and die for what you believe. You don’t run, you hold your position you fight that battle until there is a clear cut winner. Sometimes it was the Men in Gray sometimes it was the Men in Blue. The larger picture was often obscured because of all the smoke and haze of battle.

The picture is clear to us that have some common sense that we must stay and finish the job in Iraq or the enemy will follow up our retreat.

Harry Reid you are a despicable coward and weasel of a man and don’t deserve to be called American.


SHERMAN

by Richard Watson Gilder
(1844-1909)

Glory and honor and fame and everlasting laudation
For our captains who loved not war, but fought for the life of the nation;
Who knew that, in all the land, one slave meant strife, not peace;
Who fought for freedom, not glory; made war that war might cease.

Glory and honor and fame; the beating of muffled drums;
The wailing funeral dirge, as the flag-wrapped coffin comes;
Fame and honor and glory; and joy for a noble soul,
For a full and splendid life, and laurelled rest at the goal.

Glory and honor and fame; the pomp that a soldier prizes;
The league-long waving line as the marching falls and rises;
Rumbling of caissons and guns; the clatter of horses' feet,
And a million awe-struck faces far down the waiting street.

But better the martial woe, and the pageant of civic sorrow;
Better than praise of to-day, or the statue we build to-morrow;
Better than honor or glory, and history's iron pen,
Was the thought of duty done and the love of his fellow-men.

*Background music is "Song for the Irish Brigade" by David Kincaid.

11 comments:

Marie's Two Cents said...

Jenn,

Ol Harry really ticked off a Marine and the Marine wrote his own "Response" to Harry Reid and Drudge posted it from the Pat Dollard Website

I think this is only the beginning.

There is alot of public outcry for Harry to Resign! We must make our voices heard or read!!

SusieQ said...

Jenni, your description of what it would have been like for the soldier on the battlefield during the Civil War was brilliant. I didn't realize this until someone explained it to me, but the immediate reason soldiers are able to go into battle and fight to the death sometimes is because of their buddies who are with them.

Reid and others like him are a dreadful disgrace. I wish there was a way to get him to resign.

Please email me and tell me how I can get music added to my blog. I think that is a fantastic enhancement to yours.

J_G said...

Marie, I read the whole story about the Marine and many Marines I've to talked feel the same way. I think when this is all said and done we need to go back to Washington and have some show trials of our own.

Susie, My description of what the Civil War soldier had to go through is only one of many acts of courage and gallantry that the men and women of this great nation
have gone through to serve and protect our freedoms and to display their courage of their convictions.

I am currently reading a book called "Six Frigates" by Ian Toll and it tells of the men who designed, financed and battled to get our nation's great Navy into the water at the very beginning.

I am now to part that describes the story of their first engagements with the Barbary Pirates (Tripolian) under the auspices of the Ottoman Turks. Islamic fanatiscism didn't just start in this century as many believe. George Washington, John Adams,Thomas Jefferson and so on had to deal with these people.

The men that manned those first six frigates were dedicated to gallantry and courageousnous and is almost beyond belief. Sometimes I feel I should be standing at attention and saluting while I am reading about their actions. Where have these people gone? You can't hear people like Harry Reid even mutter those words because they would foriegn to his mouth.

patterns of ink said...

J_G,
Wow! So glad I came to read this today.
I mentioned in a comment over the weekend that the thousands of casualties in the Civil War battle reflected a different kind of battle ethic and honor. Today’s soldier probably can't imagine marching row after row into a contest of target-practice attrition. It seemed only a test of courage and willingness to die. Whereas today, our soldiers know that reducing the enemy ranks without marching in a line is not cowardice. Let the terrorist fight by throwing "disposable" volunteers at the battle, I'm all for us fighting smarter with better weapons and fewer casualties, and living to do it again and again till the enemy says "we quit" and our troops come proudly home.
What I’m less convinced of than I was three years ago is that Iraq will resemble a self-sustaining government when we leave. They must want that as badly as our forefathers did if it’s going to happen.
From a military standpoint, we're winning. Our fallen are not "losers" fighting for nothing. I sense a change coming in our national psyche on this as soldiers. "Hey, don't surrender for us. If you want to quit something, quit your job in congress!"
As President Bush said when it all began. We'll fight at the time of our choosing and at the place of our choosing. From your perspective, is it an oversimplification to say that Iraq is what Bush meant by choosing "the time and place"? Saddam is gone. The statues are down. Unreported good things are happening every day...but let's not forget these raging battles are THERE NOT HERE and that has been true for six years now. I could be wrong, but it seems like HR and hollywood have lost sight of that fact. Do they actually think that if we pull out this will stop? I don’t. I think it will relocate.
Great post!

BTW, I had a recent comment from someone you may find interesting:

http://ofthoughtanddiscussion.
blogspot.com/

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Harry Reid is absolutely out of touch with reality. I can't believe that he could honestly think he could spin what General Petraeus actually said, regarding "no military solution" to Iraq.

Islamic fanatiscism didn't just start in this century as many believe.

Jennifer,

Did you ever get a chance to read my account of America's first war with Islamic terror?

J_G said...

Tom asked...As President Bush said when it all began. We'll fight at the time of our choosing and at the place of our choosing. From your perspective, is it an oversimplification to say that Iraq is what Bush meant by choosing "the time and place"?

Tom, from my perspective as far as fighting terrorists is concerned, it is far better to draw them away from Afghanistan and fight them in Iraq instead. The Russians proved and are an example of how not to fight these people. Afghanistan is probably THE most difficult place on earth to fight a war because of the terrain and the embedded locals that can shoot from horses and live in caves and I always said that they are able to consume rocks for nutrition. Sure there are the taliban and remnants of al qaeda left in southern Afgahnistan and northern Pakistan but the outsiders are flocking to Iraq instead of Afghanistan to fight us. That is just a battlefield perpective.

We cannot be chased out of Iraq by a bunch of truck and car bombers with our tail between our legs. We must keep security there until the Iraqis can protect themselves from these people. Those tactics that are being employed now are the same ones used by Saddam"s Baathists to gain control of Iraq. It would be a disaster to the security and stability of the middle east and the west if terrorists were able to gain control of Iraq and the second largest oil fields in the world. In deference to slogans that I have seen at the anti-war protests "No Blood for Oil" I have to strongly disagree with that shallow thinking. We must spill blood for oil because if we don't our blood will be running in our streets if terrosits gain conrol of Iraq, they already control Iran.

J_G said...

Word, Your post is absolutely dead on. It's funny though how the appeasement crowd switches back and forth in the political parties. This intrigues me because it was John Adams the Federalist that understood we needed a strong Navy and would have to fight the Islamist pirates. The Adams administration commissioned the building of a Navy powerful enough to protect our merchant marine from the Barbary Pirates and to fight the French in what is called the Quasi war because they were in turmoil during their own revolutionary process and were being totally well, French.

The first six frigates were The Constituion 44 gun, The President 44 gun, The Congress 44 gun, The United States 44 gun The Constellation 38 gun and Chesapeake 36 gun.

The greatest account of the original six that I have read so so far in the book "Six Frigates" is when Thomas Truxtun fought, defeated and captured the French 54 gun frigate L'Insurgente during the Quasi war with France.

The accounts of the heroic LT. Stephen Decatur are something that Americans do not know enough about and should be aware and proud of.

You know, I learned all this many years ago and now, for me, I truly see that history is repeating itself.

patterns of ink said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
patterns of ink said...

thanks, J_G.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

After writing my post, I thought about trying to turn it into a movie script. Given "Amazing Grace" and "300", I think some parts of Hollywood are ready for a pro-America, pro-military, unapologetically non-PC, pro-war-on-terror movie.

J_G said...

Your welcome Tom, I hope my input helped.

Word, The same ships that fought the piracy of the Mediterranean also chased down and captured the slavers after the import of slaves became illegal in 1808. We're never going to get the left hollywood types to portray Americans fighting people in a good light, they will always portray us as tyrannical barbarians that are worst than those that chop the heads off of their prisoners and blow themselves up killing women and children indiscriminately.

If I were to be commander in charge of a fleet of ships with amphib capable Marines the first place I would invade and capture is Hollywood California, no quarter would be afforded to prisoners for their actions against America and Americans. I would then work my way up the coast and take San Francisco and return it to the United States after being in enemy hands for all these years. Those prisoners would be sent to Iran because I'm a charitable person today and I believe they would enjoy themselves better in Iran rather than the United States.