Friday, March 20, 2020

Encouragement from the Past

I watched movie set during WW2 the other day, no it was not Patton

Churchill studies reports of the action that day
with Vice Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay,
28 August 1940, © IWM (H 3508)
I was, however, reminded of the dire circumstances being faced by the British, especially after Dunkirk, and I recalled a very famous speech made by Winston Churchill to demonstrate the resolve of the British people in the face of Hitler's armies. So I went and found a transcript to read.

It was an inspiring address--but it was the last paragraph which spoke to me. As I hunker down now, alone but yet still inextricably entwined with my community I felt a sense of encouragement in reading the words and changing, in my mind, references to the Germans to COVID-19. And even the very last sentence apparently still rings true given what is happening with COVID-19 across Europe.

Winston Churchill's complete address delivered on June 4, 1940,  to the House of Commons, titled We Shall Fight on the Beaches is at the link.

I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty’s Government-every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation. The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength. Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old. 

I highlighted a couple of really important points that the Prime Minister made.

We must each do our part and we must also consider how the actions we take today could affect ourselves or others tomorrow or in two weeks.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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