My response to a question at a speach I gave (a tad long)

This is a discussion on My response to a question at a speach I gave (a tad long) within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; A buddy of mine from my old unit asked me to speak at a private college last weekend in New England to a group of ...

Results 1 to 12 of 12
Like Tree7Likes
  • 3 Post By suntzu
  • 2 Post By suntzu
  • 1 Post By GeorgiaDawg
  • 1 Post By mano3

Thread: My response to a question at a speach I gave (a tad long)

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    TX/NH
    Posts
    5,552

    My response to a question at a speach I gave (a tad long)

    A buddy of mine from my old unit asked me to speak at a private college last weekend in New England to a group of political science students. He is a professor there. (got a free plane ticket, yey) The subject was "Can the cost of war ever be too high". I got intorduced and he read my bio then I spoke. Anyway, during the Q&A a young lady asked me how people can die for each other in combat even if they don't know each other well. It was a sincere question so I gave a sincere answer. (as a consultant I have been a speaker with various audiences in the last 6 years since I retired and have been asked similiar questions before so I actually knew most of this by heart, but fortunatley I had my laptop on the podiom with me LOL). Anyhoo, this is what I said. It is from Shakspheare's Henry the V and it is about the Battle of Agincourt. BTW: It also is how the mini series "Band of Brothers" was named. And the part in bold at the end sums it up well.

    WESTMORELAND. O that we now had here
    But one ten thousand of those men in England
    That do no work to-day!

    KING. What's he that wishes so?
    My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
    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 call'd the feast of Crispian.
    He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
    Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
    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 Crispian'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 rememb'red.
    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 remembered-
    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 accurs'd they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
    wmhawth, Glhadiator and dV8r like this.
    Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
    And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

    Isaiah 6:8

  2. Remove Ads

  3. #2
    Member Array Glhadiator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    284
    I hope that she got the message. Although I fear she did not.

    It isn't very often I read Shakespeare qouted anymore. Sad. Times change. Seems people have lost the understanding and meaning of honor and brotherhood. It's nice to see that some people do.

    But if it be a sin to covet honour,
    I am the most offending soul alive.

    Serve my country, swear an oath to protect it, pay my taxes, fly old glory in the front yard, love and protect my family, honor the vets before me and help fellow americans in need.
    By definition my country now calls me a radical

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    TX/NH
    Posts
    5,552
    Quote Originally Posted by Glhadiator View Post
    I hope that she got the message. Although I fear she did not.

    It isn't very often I read Shakespeare qouted anymore. Sad. Times change. Seems people have lost the understanding and meaning of honor and brotherhood. It's nice to see that some people do.
    It more is a passage about what honor really is and how it is viewed by real heros. It points out who the "men" are and those that let others do the fighting for them. I think it is defining piece of literature to describe what a true warrior is. I have read that so often I know it by heart (but always have it ready just in case my old brain fails me).

    And yes, she did get it. She started a standing ovation
    Chaplain Scott and mano3 like this.
    Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
    And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

    Isaiah 6:8

  5. #4
    VIP Member
    Array Hopyard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Disappeared
    Posts
    11,158
    Good post, but if we are going to delve into serious literature on the subject, I prefer
    the opposite sentiment--http://www.warpoetry.co.uk/owen1.html

    Read the poem at the link (I didn't want to copy it because I'm unsure about copyright issues).

    Title Dulce Est Decorum Est Author Wilfred Owen

    Here are the last few words of this WWI era poem:

    "If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
    Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
    Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud(12)
    Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
    My friend, you would not tell with such high zest(13)
    To children ardent(14) for some desperate glory,
    The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
    Pro patria mori.(15)"

    IMO Shakespeare's King Harry was telling a lie.

    All of that aside, we live in a practical world and we must defend ourselves. Sadly, this
    inevitably means young men will seek, or be compelled to seek, an "honor" I would not wish on
    anyone else's child.
    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
    Andrew Jackson

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    TX/NH
    Posts
    5,552
    Hop: You misunderstand.....the question was why people are willing to die for each other. the King says it well.

    I agree with the other writing. In fact, my son and I were talking about it today. I think war should be uncomftorable, should involve physical pain and death, should cause economic hardships for local, national, and global economies. We have santitized it too well. My sis in law is asking for people to send her son blankets and socks and goodies while he is in Afghanistan..we need to make war for everybody something that the do not want to do.

    But again, the question was not how war is realistic, it was on why a person would jump on a grenade for someone they do not know.
    Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
    And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

    Isaiah 6:8

  7. #6
    VIP Member
    Array Hopyard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Disappeared
    Posts
    11,158
    Quote Originally Posted by suntzu View Post
    Hop: You misunderstand.....the question was why people are willing to die for each other. the King says it well.

    I agree with the other writing. In fact, my son and I were talking about it today. I think war should be uncomftorable, should involve physical pain and death, should cause economic hardships for local, national, and global economies. We have santitized it too well. My sis in law is asking for people to send her son blankets and socks and goodies while he is in Afghanistan..we need to make war for everybody something that the do not want to do.

    But again, the question was not how war is realistic, it was on why a person would jump on a grenade for someone they do not know.
    The King's answer to her question is "honor." The Owen poem uses a slightly different wording ("Dulce" and "glory") but essentially calls the King Harry answer a lie, thusly: "you would not tell with such high zest(13)
    To children ardent(14) for some desperate glory,
    Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori "

    I have heard an answer to the question your young lady asked, which I find less philosophical and more grounded in reality. When warriors die in combat, they are in the instant of combat fighting for themselves and for those about them who are close comrades. They are not forfeiting their lives for their country, but for their immediate buddies.

    A microcosm parallel might be used in discussing fire fighter deaths. It is thankfully rare, but not unheard of for firefighters to lose their lives trying to save other fire fighters. I suspect that in the instant they do not think about the philosophy, nor about the community they work for, but about their co-workers.

    Similarly we will read of firefighters who lose their lives saving someone. Honor and glory have little to do with it, and in the instant preceding death there is no "Dulce."

    I think Joe Friday came closest to the answer (if there is such a thing
    as an answer to this tough question: "Friday: OK just settle down ma'am, we need the facts, just the facts. Secretary: .... Friday: (cutting her off) I was just doing my job.
    Last edited by Hopyard; October 12th, 2012 at 05:20 PM. Reason: corrected word order error in the quoted part in bold
    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
    Andrew Jackson

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    TX/NH
    Posts
    5,552
    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    The King's answer to her question is "honor." The Owen poem uses a slightly different wording ("Dulce" and "glory") but essentially calls the King Harry answer a lie, thusly: "you would not tell with such high zest(13)
    To children ardent(14) for some desperate glory,
    Pro patria mori Dulce et Decorum est "

    I have heard an answer to the question your young lady asked, which I find less philosophical and more grounded in reality. When warriors die in combat, they are in the instant of combat fighting for themselves and for those about them who are close comrades. They are not forfeiting their lives for their country, but for their immediate buddies.

    A microcosm parallel might be used in discussing fire fighter deaths. It is thankfully rare, but not unheard of for firefighters to lose their lives trying to save other fire fighters. I suspect that in the instant they do not think about the philosophy, nor about the community they work for, but about their co-workers.

    Similarly we will read of firefighters who lose their lives saving someone. Honor and glory have little to do with it, and in the instant preceding death there is no "Dulce."

    I think Joe Friday came closest to the answer (if there is such a thing
    as an answer to this tough question: "Friday: OK just settle down ma'am, we need the facts, just the facts. Secretary: .... Friday: (cutting her off) I was just doing my job.
    Hop: Don't take every line and try to dissect it. The point is that men and woman in combat feel like a "Band of Brothers" and they will give their lives for each other. At least the men I have been in combat with. There is no definitive piece of literature everyone will agree on that could answer the young ladies question. It was my personal feeling of what it meant to be with people who are thrust in a situation and have to fight together, for whatever the reason. It also is a subtle way of pointing out that the people who send folks out to war are usually tucked comftorably in their beds while others die for what ever agenda sent them to war.

    If you don't agree with the piece that is cool. There are many others.

    Nowhere does anyone claim there is glory as you are dying or the moment before. I have repeatedly said that most people don't die for their country and folks hate hearing that. People fight and die for the people they are with at the moment.

    EDIT: BTW-that was not part of my prepared notes and was not meant to be part of the hour I had. It was in response to a question.
    Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
    And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

    Isaiah 6:8

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array GeorgiaDawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,146
    Regardless of naysayers and nitpickers, I think that was pretty cool. Sometimes I wish I would've served so that I could share in that bond, but I'm certainly glad there are men and women who are willing to jump on a grenade for their fellow brothers-in-arms so that I can enjoy my freedoms.
    BigJon10125 likes this.
    "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9

    “The purpose of the law is not to prevent a future offense, but to punish the one actually committed” - Ayn Rand

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array mano3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Wetumpka, AL
    Posts
    915
    It is hard to explain the "Band of Brothers mentality".

    I tried explaining to my oldest son before he went into the USAF and he didn't get it. Now that he's in, he gets it and it's even strengthened our bond.

    This bond even exists between my Grandfather and I. He's 96 and served as a combat engineer in the Pacific with the Army. He and I have conversations that the rest of the family can't fathom - almost makes me tear up...
    Chaplain Scott likes this.
    US Air Force, 1986 - 2007

    "To disarm the people is the best and most effective way to enslave them..." George Mason

  11. #10
    VIP Member
    Array Hopyard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Disappeared
    Posts
    11,158
    Quote Originally Posted by suntzu View Post
    Hop: Don't take every line and try to dissect it. The point is that men and woman in combat feel like a "Band of Brothers" and they will give their lives for each other. At least the men I have been in combat with. There is no definitive piece of literature everyone will agree on that could answer the young ladies question. It was my personal feeling of what it meant to be with people who are thrust in a situation and have to fight together, for whatever the reason.
    Fair enough, but notice the difference between King Harry's response, and what the young lady was asking, which
    is what motivates people to give their lives for others.

    Let's be honest with ourselves. In many instances the answer (throughout history) has been they have fought
    because a risk benefit analysis of sorts went through their mind: 5 years in jail for sure, or maybe I can do my 2 years
    and luck will be with me. In other instances people have fought because they were literally kidnapped and impressed
    into service.

    I like part of what King Harry had to say. This part: "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; "

    Translated, it means the King did not want conscripts and forced service.
    The King was saying 'be here and do this for the "honor." (Because The King needs you--it is
    necessary and right to fight this fight.)
    But, that doesn't quite get to the young ladies question of why people self-sacrifice.

    Sunzu-- I'm not trying to take every line and dissect it, or argue for argument's sake. Rather,
    I think you raised one of mankind's most important and difficult questions--- what do we owe
    our fellow man and can we pay the debt.
    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
    Andrew Jackson

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    TX/NH
    Posts
    5,552
    Hop: take this to a Shakespheare conference OK.....I told you what MY intent was...I told you how FRIENDS of mine and my BROTHERs feel about how they HEAR the passage. And as far as the young lady....she took it the way she wanted.

    It was not a lecture on what the passage means to a English lit doctoral candidate. And I highly doubt she will take it away and qoute it as the definitve answer to her question.
    Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
    And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

    Isaiah 6:8

  13. #12
    Member Array FLArmadillo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Osceola County, FL
    Posts
    264
    I once heard a veteran say that the only person that he wanted to see go home more than himself was the men he served with.
    As we used to teach in the spook business, carry a 25 if it makes you feel good, but do not ever load it. If you load it you may shoot it. If you shoot it you may hit somebody, and if you hit somebody - and he finds out about it - he may be very angry with you. -- Jeff Cooper

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Search tags for this page

5 kinds of information turning a subject into aspeach

,

a speach to honor our veterans

,

and crowns of convoy shall be put in his purse meaning

,

aspeach what a piece of work is man

,

discussion on part of speach

,

i did not lie thusly

,

line repeated in aspeach

Click on a term to search for related topics.