“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”
Sir Winston Spencer Churchill
(Taken from his speech to The House of Commons, August 20, 1940)
For any who love listening to, what those with the magic ability can do, turning the English Language into a symphony of words and sounds, there are none quite like Sir Winston Churchill. His writings continue to capture and stir imagination as his speeches still invoke the deep primal instincts that rally the weary to rise up when all appears lost, when there is nothing left to offer—his speeches are akin to Henry V’s battle cry at Agincourt or Elizabeth I’s rallying of her troops as the Spanish Armada bore down on her Island Nation.
No less was this speech, now dubbed “The Few”, a rallying point for the British people as they, alone, had bore the brunt of Hitler’s Blitzkrieg. Years before the Allies joined arms, the British people suffered night after night, onslaught upon onslaught of their Island Nation. The British people knew that it was they who stood between democracy or tyranny for an entire world. A small Island in defense of a giant monster. But hold they did—and thank God they did, for all of us who today enjoy a democratic freedom.
I am reminded of such sacrifice and heroism on such occasions as this Memorial Day Weekend–as we prepare to use this time as the official “kick off” to summer, we must all take pause and remember that it is not for Summer that we called for a Memorial Day remembrance but rather a call to offer our prayers and appreciation to those who have gone before us, who continue to go, and defend our freedoms. The freedom to travel this weekend to lakes, woods and beaches. To bask in the joy of a “3 day” weekend–to gather with friends and family simply to venture outside and feel the freedom from work, worry, and grueling schedules.
This is not the time to protest war, of which none of us want. It is rather a time to offer our thanks to the countless men and woman who, down through time, have gone to serve and defend the rights of the whole–as they are the “few”. As we crank up the grill, take the boat to the lake, sleep late on Monday, may we remember that this is simply not some granted “free time” off but there is a deeper reason for this weekend. Our “few” still are out there serving our Nation–despite our political thoughts, this is a time of appreciation and recollection–and a time to offer our thanks for the very lives many have given so that you and I may be “free”………