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June 14, 2008

Not Fade Away

This regiment was formed last summer in Maine. There were a thousand of us then. There are less than three hundred of us now. All of us volunteered to fight for the union, just as you did. Some came mainly because we were bored at home -- thought this looked like it might be fun. Some came because we were ashamed not to. Many of us came because it was the right thing to do. And all of us have seen men die.

This is a different kind of army. If you look back through history, you will see men fighting for pay, for women, for some other kind of loot. They fight for land, power, because a king leads them or -- or just because they like killing. But we are here for something new. This has not happened much in the history of the world. We are an army out to set other men free.

America should be free ground -- all of it. Not divided by a line between slave state and free -- all the way, from here to the Pacific Ocean. No man has to bow. No man born to royalty. Here, we judge you by what you do, not by who your father was. Here, you can be something. Here, is the place to build a home.

But it's not the land. There's always more land.

It's the idea that we all have value -- you and me.

What we're fighting for, in the end, we're fighting for each other.

The language of old soldiers.

It bridges time and space, the yawning chasm of seemingly irreconcilable cultures and ancient grudges whose forgotten origins lie buried beneath unmarked and untended graves. It unites men simply because in the end, they are men.

Posted by Cassandra at June 14, 2008 09:15 AM

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Men who familiarized with danger, meet it without shrinking, whereas those who have never seen Service often apprehend danger where no danger is.
-Letter to President of Congress,
9 February 1776

Posted by: Drive-by George Washington at June 14, 2008 11:59 AM

Yanno... every blog should have its resident poet laureate, bard, and drive-by provider of pithy bon mots.

Hmmmm.... what are you doing between now and the first week of November??? I can use all the help I can get :p

Posted by: Barack Obama at June 14, 2008 12:08 PM

The language of old soldiers.

Thank you, Cass.

['cuz you *could* have written "ancient soldiers"...)

Posted by: BillT at June 14, 2008 01:08 PM

I meant it in the best sense of the word, my friend :)

Posted by: Cassandra at June 14, 2008 01:37 PM

I loved your post, by the way. It moved me to tears.

It just took me a while to figure out what to do with it. Sometimes I don't have any words of my own.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 14, 2008 01:41 PM

Took me a while to figure out how to *write* it.

I had the words. Still do.

Just not the words I eventually used...

Posted by: BillT at June 14, 2008 04:51 PM

I loved your post, by the way. It moved me to tears.

Yep. Here too.

Posted by: HomefrontSix at June 14, 2008 05:37 PM

Great.

I make women cry.

Must be why I can't get a date over *here*, either...

Posted by: BillT at June 14, 2008 06:09 PM

Yeah, *that's* the reason...

Posted by: HomefrontSix at June 15, 2008 12:45 AM

Snerk. You get beat up everywhere you go, Bill.

Posted by: John of Argghhh!!! at June 15, 2008 08:47 PM

You get beat up everywhere you go, Bill.

That which does not kill me makes me stronger.

Uglier, but stronger.

You don't wanna be around at
clobberin' time...

Posted by: BillT at June 16, 2008 05:01 AM

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