The Band of Brothers and the Apology That is Owed
It is now the day after the passing of Pennsylvania Congressman Jack Murtha. I have chewed through my lips biting them to wait this long, it’s long enough. More than he deserved. These are my opinions and do not reflect the opinions of The Minority Report or RedState. But I must speak them aloud.
There is a “Brotherhood of Arms” in the United States Military, as there has been in the best military units since the dawn of time. If Soldiers cannot be loyal to their brothers, how can they be loyal to the Nation, or in our instance, the Constitution, that they serve?
King Henry explains it well, perhaps the best. For those of you not familiar with Agincourt, a British force of roughly 5000 stood before a French force of 4 or 5 times that. And won, but Henry’s words below were delivered before the battle began. Henry knew the impossible odds, but his loyalty to his men, his respect and love for his men led him to say :
If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires:
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England:
God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more, methinks, would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
We would not die in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to die with us. !
This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian:’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember’d;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
William Shakespeare: Henry V Act IV Scene III
When St. Crispians Day came about for USMC veteran, Jack Murtha, there were no names “freshly remembered”, only curses for his brothers in arms. He was always more than happy to “strip his sleeves and show his scars” but he never said “I earned these on Crispian’s Day”, he said “I was a warrior but you are rapists and murderers.”
I had the inestimable privilege of Leading American Soldiers in battle; I will never forget that privilege, or the Soldiers I was privileged to lead. As King Henry said, through Shakespeare, we truly are “brothers, he who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile”, those days we shared gentled their condition, those Soldiers have earned my undying loyalty and I will not forsake that honor. Not for earmarks, not for a position or a job and not ever for political favor, “from this day to the ending of the world.”
Representative Murtha’s family should issue the apology to the USMC that the Corps (pronounced “Kor” for those of you using teleprompters) deserves, if they are not the selfish, corrupt, despicable human beings that Jack Murtha was.
Saint Crispin and his brother Saint Crispinian’s Day is the 25th of October. Feel free to add this little known holiday to Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day and further honor those who gave their lives fighting for us and our way of life. And take a moment to reflect upon Loyalty, Loyalty to those who serve you and those whom you serve, may you all fare better than the selfish and corrupt among us.