Every now and then you write something that impresses yourself a little. While I was finishing some english homework, I reread what I wrote and was somewhat impressed. So, of course, I’m posting it for praise and whatnot. (Yea, at least I’m honest!) Actually, it does give you a view into why I joined the military. Since it’s long, I’ll cut it below.
It’s the poem by Rupert Brooke called “The Soldier” and my response to it.
If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.
Anyone who gives up some of their freedom and is willing to give up all does so knowing the price would be worth the cost. I’ve been in Iraq, and seen the explosions that could have taken me from this world if set to go off a few minutes earlier or later. I know what price might be asked of me, but I also know what I’m asking and hoping for in return. I have a wife at home. I have a best friend with a new child. I have friends who tell me how their families are doing. I have all this that I feel is important enough to do all I can to preserve.
Likewise, I feel Brooke understands this as well. If he, or any other soldier, were to die, do not think of it as a loss. It was a price gladly paid for their cause. In the case of the Soldier, it was for England. It is for a home that is, and still will be. It was for soil that was bled on to retain its name and rights. Though names may be forgotten, or even unknown, they still live in the eternal pulse of the country. Because anyone is free… because we can stand proud and call this place our home, is entirely because men and women stood up and declaired it to be so. Peace is not freely given, it must be taken and then protected.
If I should die, my cause will live on because I help hold the shield that protected it. My friends and their children will mourn be, but will do it freely and away from the reign of tyranny. My wife will cry, but her tears will fall on free soil. Brooke knows this as well as I do, and while words can never make one fully understand, the poem at least gets people one step closer to understanding. In a way, I hope mine do as well.