Comments: Courage

"Fix bayonets."

That's one for us.

Posted by Flea at April 8, 2004 10:49 PM

Amen.

Posted by rosignol at April 9, 2004 03:14 AM

Flea, I thought so too :-)

Well said, Rosignol.

Posted by Debbye at April 9, 2004 03:33 PM

I've watched the Ken Burns series "The Civil War" many times. One of the most moving scenes was the description of Chamberlain and the Battle of the Little Round Top at Gettysburg.

Bill did not use the whole Chamberlain quote, which supposedly was: "Stand firm you boys from Maine! For not once in a century are men permitted to bear such responsibility for Freedom and Justice, for God and Humanity as are now placed upon you"

(...talk about placing a load on someone's shoulders. Chamberlain may not have been a trained military tactician, but he certainly knew his rhetoric!)

Chamberlain was later seriously wounded at Petersburg (so seriously that he was promoted to Brigadier General on the spot), but survived to see Lee's surrender at Appomattox (and in another grand gesture he ordered his men to salute the defeated Confederate troops) and lived to age 84. (...the God of Battles does not consume all of its heros)

Bill has previously touched on some comparisons between this conflict and the Civil War previously, such as how Lincoln was reviled and ridiculed by many in the North (the earlier quote in Bill's essay could have been easily written in today's media to ridicule Bush).

I found it interesting (maybe even prescient) how at the first National memorial service after 9/11, the choir and crowd sang the full version of Julia Ward Howe's Civil War song "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" including the seldom heard verse:

"In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,

With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me:

As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,

While God is marching on."

Lincoln fought the Civil War to save the Union, but ended up freeing the slaves. The "War on Terror" started as a way to ensure American security, but through the blood and death of American and Coalition soldiers may end up by freeing the Arab world from its tyranny.

As Lincoln said in his second Inaugural Address, "The Almighty has His own purposes".

Posted by Warren at April 9, 2004 10:58 PM

Well said, Warren, well said! God and history have their own logic (but still rely on us to see it through even as we end up in unexpected places.)

Those who cited tyranny in the Arab world as a "root cause" for the spread of al Qaeda and other terrorist groups have backed fully away from that particular claim now that we are doing something about it.

Even with the press fully arrayed against Lincon, the American people showed they were wiser than the pundits by re-electing him over McClellan. The soldiers voted for Lincoln overwhelmingly - and large number of them were draftees.

Good to have you back (I'm guessing you're back from your trip to China.)

Posted by Debbye at April 10, 2004 09:15 AM

Yes I am back, thanks. I was able to read and comment to your blog from China. Don't know if you should be pleased or disappointed. (...I had no luck connecting to letitbleed from China. You might want to contact Bob for some pointers :) )

It was an interesting trip, my first to Asia and China specifically. I was in Shanghai very briefly (population 16+ million) and Suzhou (population 5.6 million - greater than the GTA). I now believe the phrase "teeming mass of humanity" was written to describe cities in China.

Whenever I get stuck in traffic in Calgary or Toronto in the future, I'll think of the congestion in Suzhou and Shanghai and realize we have NOTHING to complain about in Canada.

Nice to visit, but very glad to be home.

Posted by Warren at April 10, 2004 07:16 PM

Good to have you back, Warren!

16+ million people? That is impossible to comprehend.

I sometimes have to refresh the page when Let It Bleed doesn't load properly. (That's a problem on blogspot too.) I am, however, incapable of pointers - my sole tactic is yelling in frustration.

Posted by Debbye at April 11, 2004 12:36 PM