Courage!

Emily1

I am often teased about my almost total disdain for Emily Dickinson and her poetry. I have wondered aloud if the lights dimmed whenever she walked into a room because of her constant musing about death. However, there is one poem authored by this “merry maid”  that has always struck a chord with me and I would like to share it with you now:

“There is no Frigate like a Book

To take us Lands away

Nor any Coursers like a Page

Of prancing Poetry –

This Traverse may the poorest take

Without oppress of Toll –

How frugal is the Chariot

That bears the Human Soul –”

Through books we can travel through time, visit the deepest jungles (I am in the process of reading “Jungle Book”), go to West Point, look deep into the hearts of characters (both male and female), learn how to do a task, see great courage expressed, read truth, learn about heresy, find encouragement, hear warning, solve mysteries, and a myriad of other adventures that we would not experience otherwise. One book that was such a “frigate” for me was Stephen Ambrose’s, “D Day: June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II.” On this 72nd anniversary of that pivotal event in human history I am once again amazed at the courage of those men (many of them 18 years old, and I am sure that some lied about their age and were younger) as they stormed those beaches under heavy enemy fire, and gained a foothold on Hitler’s Fortress Europe.

When I see the word, “courage,” thrown around so quickly today to describe some people’s actions, in my mind, I return to those soldiers on those LCIs waiting for that door to drop, knowing that there was a good possibility that their next moment would be their final moment on this earth. That, my friend, is courage. I am thankful for that “greatest generation” that did what had to be done to free Europe from Nazi oppression, and I hope that we will never forget those young men and the price they paid.

ambrose

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