Hold your ground

Today, I walked through the cemetery at Arlington during a quite blustery afternoon after having gone into the office for a bit to work on our database. I was over near the 9-11 memorial, a site close to where I frequently do transfers for full honors ceremonies from the hearse to the horse drawn caisson. I pondered how long the struggle for freedom and peace has gone on among humanity. There are people buried in the cemetery from conflicts all the way back to the civil war. But of course conflict has gone on much longer than that, much longer even than the existence of our country. From the beginning of human history, there have been those who have sought to impose their tyranny over others - to take their wealth, resources, and freedom -- to enslave for ideological or pure selfish reasons. And there have been those willing to lay their lives on the line to defend liberty for themselves and others. I am proud and humbled to stand among some of today's warriors who stand for freedom. So often the struggle has been long and hard with cost and sacrifice. Freedom lives because people have served.

I hear a lot of truth in these words of fiction of Aragorn from the Lord of the Rings saga as he stood before the hords of evil:

Hold your ground - hold your ground! Sons of Gondor - of Rohan . . . my brothers!

I see in your eyes the same fear that would
take the heart of me. The day may come when
the courage of Men fails; when we forsake
our friends and break all bonds of
fellowship; but it is not this day - an
hour of wolves and shattered shields, when
the Age of Man comes crashing down - but it
is not this day!!! This day we fight! By
all that you hold dear on this good earth -
I bid you stand!
Men of the West!