As a sailor, I have memorized the Sailor’s Creed and recited it on several occasions. My favorite part: I proudly represent the fighting spirit of the navy, and those who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world.
While making the blogroll rounds today http://nicedoggie.net aka Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler has an excellent post about the Doolittle Raid.
From the comments: The Pacific War held one special significance for both sides, the Axis had dropped bombs on the homelands of both nations, and were repaid for that brutality by a combined force that ultimately led to the abandonment of a planned invasion of the Australian continent. Lest we forget.
This was a time when military men were made of stern stuff. The best paragraph:
Doolittle expected to be court-martialed when he returned stateside. He had lost all 16 planes and inflicted minimal damage in return. To his surprise he was instead promoted to Brigadier General and presented the Medal of Honor. The raid had shaken Japanese confidence and gave American morale a desperately needed boost. In their country’s darkest hour the Doolittle Raiders had shone as a beacon of hope. A more practical, and strategically vital, result though was that the raid forced the Japs to pull valuable fighter forces back to the home islands to defend against another raid. Concerned about the ability of America to strike deep into Japans defensive perimeter, Tojo decided that Japan needed to expand into the central Pacific. This decision led to the monumental Battle of Midway, from which the Imperial Japanese Navy never recovered
My thoughts: The raid commander felt he had failed. He lost planes and lost lives. No leader feels that lightly. However, the Japs now had to guard homebase. He had succeeded amazingly. The men that gave their lives did so for the greater good. As stated above: In their country’s darkest hour the Doolittle Raiders had shone as a beacon of hope
Hope can carry a person or a nation when all else has failed. Hope carried the American Revolution. I look at those men in awe. As a professional sailor I wonder, “Would I be able to do that when my country calls?”
I will be there for you in your darkest hour. I will keep the wolf at bay. I will sacrifice the best years of my life to defend you and yours. All I ask is that you use and cherish your freedoms. Vote, carry your guns, and speak freely. My shipmates and I are on the pointy end to make it so. If you neglect your freedoms, our sacrifice is for naught.
“Woe betide the wolf when I stand guard at the door”.