A Salute to Our Veterans
To my father, and the millions of other men and women who have answered the call, fought, bled, and in some cases died, for the freedom we enjoy but too often take for granted, let me say a big Thank You on this Veteran's Day. We owe each of you a debt that can never be adequately repaid. Thank you for walking in front when there was trouble in the wind. God bless our living heroes, and the families of the fallen on this special day--and all year long. Jeff has a beautiful mediation for Veteran's Day drawn from his visit to Normandy that is well worth reading too.
And to the craven opportunists in the media who see the death of our men and women in the war on terror as an opportunity to rouse opposition to that war, or to claim that our enemies are "winning"...well, Kipling said it far better than I could.
Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.
We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.
You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!