My Brothers in Arms | Veterans Day
Understanding the Brother in Arms
This Hub is Dedicated to fellow hubber Wesleycox, the 293rd MP Company (my adopted unit now serving in Afghanistan), and to all my Brothers now serving (Active Duty), still serving (Veterans), and our honored Dead. These are the only three options once you choose to serve.
The bonds that are formed by those who serve in the Military are in many ways stronger I think than even family or marriage bonds to those who serve; and most particularly they who endure combat operations together. Shakespeare was the first of post dark ages writers to comment on this brotherhood when he wrote the play Henry V. In the play he outlined a servant leaders model that is still used today, along with the moral responsibilities of the political leaders who instigate hostilities.
The most remembered verses from this play include “Once more through the Breech Lads!” and “For King and Country!”. But the most telling phrases about the bond of the warriors to both each other and to their leadership are found in the predawn hours just before the battle of Agincourt. When Westmorland just before assembly remarked to Henry that he sure could use a couple thousand more troops and lamented that so many men and many of his peers would be on holiday celebrating the feast of St Crispan, a Sainted Monk that was martyred; whose chief claim to fame so to speak was that he traveled throughout North France and England and made shoes for Children; another model of servant leadership.
From Bunker Hill to Bastogne to BaghdadClick thumbnail to view full-size
Words by : William Shakespeare
(From King Henry V: Act IV, Scene III)
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 in his purse:
We would not die in that mans company,
That fears his fellowship to die with us,
This day call'd the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this 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 neighbors,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian':
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say, 'These wounds I had on Saint Crispians 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 Crispian 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 abed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispians day.
It is well to note before you hear Henery, that his Army had campaigned for a long time at this juncture and things had not always gone well, his men were tired and hungry, were missing home and beginning to wonder why they were there. All of the common doubts and hardships soldiers know in every war in every operation.
Keep also in mind, the subtleties of the language he uses when he says “He that sheds his blood with me today shall be my brother”,
this had much significance, and was not lost on the men. For as we know Royalty is
based on family, blood lines etc are important. By saying this publicly his elevation of the troops to
be HIS Brother, as opposed to I shall be his brother, was a significant
difference of the day.; it served to elevate, and honor these shared sacrifices. It holds true in history as our common bonds elevate
us to our leaders instead of the other way around, and it is the basis for societies to honor those who serve.
Henery Vth on the Morning of Battle - Agincourt
The Modern Day Result
Now watch and listen to the modern day result of Henery's pledge to brotherhood. Listen to the words as you watch what is pledged. Then when you can, do as they ask - Remember Them These few these happy few...
The Infantrymans Creed
And in these modern times we hold our own ‘Feasts of St Crispian” on Memorial Day and Veterans Day each year, and yearly at these vigil feasts; old bones like mine remember with advantages what feats we did on our St Crispians Day……
God Bless you all my Brothers..
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