Saturday, May 24, 2008

And the last

The late Michael Kamen wrote a number of musical scores for television and film, including his famous overture overture from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. This other piece, though less used, seems appropriate for Memorial Day.


Blogger Pieta said...

Thank you for the link tribute .... Kamen's sweeping theme was one of the main reasons we enjoyed "Band of Brothers" so much.

It's particularly poignant in light of news that Major Winters is in failing health.

And it reminds us that Currahee carries on its noble fighting tradition in Iraq and, most recently - Afghanistan, where the Screaming Eagles have just taken over from the All-Americans' AO in the majestic wilds of Nuristan.

5/24/2008 06:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding this posting, "The Heart of Darkness", and many others: I much appreciate the breadth of your knowledge and experience, the depth of your thinking, and the kind of commenters that your site attracts.

5/24/2008 06:12:00 AM  
Blogger herb said...

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, in whose hands are the living and the dead; We give thee thanks for all those thy servants who have laid down their lives in the service of our country. Grant to them thy mercy and the light of thy presence, that the good work which thou hast begun in them may be perfected; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen.

1928 BCP

5/24/2008 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

Mansions of the Lord was a Hollywood theme (from We Were Soldiers)
put to moving use at the funeral of President Reagan. It had quite an impact on me at the time. I didn't realize it was an original piece of movie music -- perhaps fitting given RR's previous profession.

And here is a version used in a tribute to our armed forces.

5/24/2008 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger stavr0s said...

Wretchard — Great post!

5/24/2008 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger Megaera said...

On 4 July 1916 during the Battle of the Somme a mass grave was made from part of a British front-line trench for some regimental soldiers killed during an advance on 1 July. Words, then drawn on a wooden board, now cut in stone, advise, "The Devonshires held this trench. The Devonshires hold it still."

5/24/2008 08:30:00 PM  
Blogger Nancy Reyes said...

thank you.
My husband Lolo is a world War II vet...i the Philippines fight against the Japanese.

5/25/2008 01:41:00 AM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

I thought they would never die; that through some mysterious process sheer bravery would save them from old age and death.

As I child I sat listening to my parent's family friends tell of the ones who didn't make it. Of the guerrilla Captain from Calumpit. A Japanese ratissage had hauled up all the men in town on the bridge. They were lined up on the bridge where a hooded informer led a Japanese officer to the only man he knew for certain to be in the guerillas -- the Captain.

A Nipponese officer asked him to identify his men. He refused. The Japanese officer flicked off his ear with a sword. The Captain stood straighter. And the inquisition went on until he fell to his knees, every part of him that could be sliced off, gone. And then the Japanese officer shot him through the head.

I asked our family friend if the Captain had revealed the names of his men. "No," he said, "and he could have shifted the whole questioning to his second in command -- his Lieutenant. But he didn't."

"How do know?" I asked.

"Because I was the Lieutenant. I stood next to him in that line. And he never said a word."

I knew then that I would never be as brave as that unnamed Captain whose identity is lost to posterity, save through the memory of a child, as he writes decades later.

And as they began to pass, I realized that the tears at the funerals were in part for ourselves. We were weeping for ourselves. While they lived we felt safe in their fading shadows. And the tears were for a day when we knew we would be alone, orphaned in our patch of history.

Then no longer could the Captain on the bridge come to strengthen us in our dreams. They say that no man comes into his inheritance until he possesses it himself. We have been given all that love can give. The rest is up to us.

5/25/2008 02:44:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

- Ragged Old
Flag -

Johnny Cash

"I walked through a county courthouse square
On a park bench an old man was sitting there
I said "Your old court house is kinda run down" He said "naw it'll do for our little town" I said "Your old flag pole is leaned a little bit, And that's a ragged old flag you got hanging on it" He said "Have a seat" and I sat down, Is this the first time you've been to our little town ? I said I think it is He said "I don't like to brag but we're kinda proud of that Ragged Old Flag

"You see we got a little hole in that flag there when Washington took it across the Delaware And it got a bad rip in New Orleans, with Packingham & Jackson tugging at the seams, and it almost fell at the Alamo beside the Texas flag, But she waved on though, She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville, And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill, There was Robert E. Lee & Beauregard and Bragg, and the South wind blew hard on that Ragged Old Flag.

On Flanders Fields in World War I, She got a big hole from a Bertha Gun, She turned blood red in World War II, She hung limp & low a time or two, She was in Korea, Vietnam, She went where she was sent by her Uncle Sam. She waved from our ships upon the briny foam & now they've about quit waving back here at home in her own good land here, She's been abused, She's been burned, dishonored, denied, an' refused, And the government for which she stands has been scandalized throughout the land.
And she's getting thread bare, and she's wearin' thin, But she's in good shape, for the shape she's in. Cause she's been though the fire before and I believe she can take a whole lot more.

"So we raise her up every morning And we take her down every night, We don't let her touch the ground, And we fold her up right. ... On second thought I *do* like to brag, Cause I'm mighty proud of that Ragged Old Flag ...

5/25/2008 07:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

boinky said: My husband Lolo is a world War II vet...i the Philippines fight against the Japanese.

Hi boinky! I saw your profile. I plan to retire in Luzon in about fifteen years. If I retire in the States I will do okay, but if I retire in the Philippines I will be rich. I can have a driver and a nurse!

Wretchard, your story reminded me of a scene in 2nd Maccabees 7 (may the Protestant members of the Belmont Club bear with me):


[7] So when the first was dead after this number, they brought the second to make him a mocking stock: and when they had pulled off the skin of his head with the hair, they asked him, Wilt thou eat, before thou be punished throughout every member of thy body?

[8] But he answered in his own language, and said, No. Wherefore he also received the next torment in order, as the former did.

[9] And when he was at the last gasp, he said, Thou like a fury takest us out of this present life, but the King of the world shall raise us up, who have died for his laws, unto everlasting life.

5/25/2008 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...


This article in the Atlantic makes a more detailed case for comet/asteroid strikes. The one in the Indian ocean I've mentioned before is dated at 2800 BC. Another one off Australia in 536 AD coincides with a lot of reports world wide of cooler weather.

5/25/2008 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Ignorance is bliss.

5/25/2008 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

My lady friend asked me to accompany her (I was going to write "dragged me along") to the church she's started attending lately with her daughter. It's one of those modern ones that has the live band and a bunch of singers on stage, and tv monitors that show the stage and the text of the lyrics so you can sing along. It has a lot of features like a TV game show, but a lot of celebration, and it invites everyone to come and get some Joyful religion.

Raised up as a Navy Brat in non-denominational base chapels, I tend to be comfortable with quiet, traditional liturgies --- like the Presbyterians. But it was good.

They had a guest speaker --- Dave Roever, a Vietnam vet who was horribly burned when a white phosphorus grenade he was about to throw was hit by a sniper's bullet.

He'd spent over a year in hospital, went through scores of surgical procedures to bring his features to a functional state. Despite all that, he is funny and joyful. He's been asked by the DoD to visit wounded and injured service personnel around the world, showing them that devastating injuries don't mean life can't be fulfilling and filled with Love.

It was a pretty amazing night. You might want to read up about him.

Another person whose story seems particularly appropriate for this weekend is a WWII conscientious objector who served as a corpsman, and ended up in combat on Okinawa.

Check out the history of Desmond Doss.

I saw a film this weekend featuring a lot of interviews with the men who served with him. see URL:

It really is humbling to know that such people exist.

5/25/2008 10:38:00 PM  

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