“No. We Hold the Line HERE” -1st Lieutenant Lynn D. Compton, January 3rd, 1945– Company E, 2nd Battalion-506th, 101st Airborne
Right now, as I pen this little missive, there is a tiny cadre of men and women, closeted away in marble-tiled, mahogany-wanescoted and anonymous rooms in far away Washington, DC– deciding my fate and the fate of my family. Like little children, we await silently at the threshold for them to emerge and remonstrate us with instruction: Pay now, or pay later. You choose.
It is a desperately pitiful situation for a free people to bear. After generations of a federal government metastasizing into a total state, the bill is being tendered by the cosmic cashier, and our Representatives are busy scurrying about, trying unctiously to ricochet as much of the hard decisions onto future babies and generations as possible. Pathetic.
At such times, when our governmental Grandees are sitting at conference tables, in luxurient and ergonomic chairs, in their $1,200 Italian-cut suits, $200 coifs, with iced and filtered water waiting at their elbows in air-conditioned comfort, it is good to recall the privation, the suffering, the rock-hard resolve and steely, super-human courage and sacrifice of our magnificent Armed Forces. It is they, after all, who have secured our liberties. And it is our government actively engaged –at this very moment– in pissing it away.
There was a very poignant and moving scene, re-created in HBO’s “Band of Brothers”, in which a gathering of World War Two combat officers deep in the ETO who were surveying the scene and determining their next move. They’d re-deployed into positions near the Belgian town of Foy which they’d left earlier, and noticed with alarm how horribly the area had been shelled in the days they’d been away.
It was a scene that took place after the heroic defense of Bastonge, during the cold and cruel winter of 1944. The men of E Company hadn’t slept indoors for nearly a month, and taken casualties nearing 50 percent.
“Well,” said one officer, looking around, “They aren’t shelling the area now..”
“They’re just waiting,” said another.
“What for?” asked a third.
“For us to re-man the position” said Lt. Lynn “Buck” Compton.
…At which point a discussion ensued about what they should do: Take up another position, out of the range of the German artillery? Fall back, or what-have-you. But, these options weren’t really options, when the objective was to win the war. And the men of E Company knew it.
“No,” said Lt. Compton, “We hold the line here“
Remember that line, Speaker Boehner. The objective, after all, is to win the war, and secure our liberties. You have the luxury of a driver, a fine office with a stocked bar, a private gym, and a lovely home in suburban Washington. In contrast, Lt. Compton and his fellow heroes had frozen foxholes. You may get a paper-cut leafing through the reams of legislation. Easy Company was maimed and disfigured.
That’s the least you can do, Mr. Boehner:
“Hold the line— here“.