Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Heart of a Lion

I know I join many others in expressing my unshakeable solidarity with the people of London who have just suffered from a major blow in the war against Islamic Fascism.

All of the reports that have come out of London to day speak of the stoicism and refusal to panic of the people of the great capital of the United Kingdom and the english speaking people. Just as their grandparents stood firm in the face of six years of terror bombing by the Luftwaffe, I am confident that the people of London and all of the subjects of Her Majesty will rally to defy those who would impose their religion and backward political views on the rest of the world by force.

Sir Winston L. S. Churchill KG, defined the stakes and the attitude necessary to meet the threat in his speeches to the nation of May 19 and June 18 1940.

“I speak to you for the first time as Prime Minister
in a solemn hour for the life of our country,
of our empire, of our allies,
and, above all, of the cause of Freedom…

..Having received His Majesty's commission,
I have formed an Administration of men and women
of every Party and of almost every point of view.
We have differed and quarreled in the past;
but now one bond unites us all
to wage war until victory is won,
and never to surrender ourselves to servitude and shame,
whatever the cost and the agony may be.

This is one of the most awe-striking periods
in the long history of France and Britain.
It is also beyond doubt the most sublime.
Side by side,
unaided except by their kith and kin in the great Dominions
and by the wide empires which rest beneath their shield
side by side, the British and French peoples
have advanced to rescue not only Europe but mankind
from the foulest and most soul-destroying tyranny
which has ever darkened and stained the pages of history.

Behind them - behind us-
behind the Armies and Fleets of Britain and France –
gather a group of shattered States and bludgeoned races:
the Czechs, the Poles, the Norwegians,
the Danes, the Dutch, the Belgians –
upon all of whom the long night of barbarism will descend,
unbroken even by a star of hope,
unless we conquer, as conquer we must;
as conquer we shall.”

On June 18th with the French on verge of defeat Churchill told the nation

“What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over.
I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin.
Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization.
Upon it depends our own British life,
and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire.

The whole fury and might of the enemy
must very soon be turned on us.
Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island
or lose the war.

If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free
and the life of the world may move forward
into broad, sunlit uplands.

But if we fail, then the whole world,
including the United States,
including all that we have known and cared for,
will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age
made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted,
by the lights of perverted science.

Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties,
and so bear ourselves that,
if the British Empire and its Commonwealth
last for a thousand years,
men will still say,
‘This was their finest hour.’”

Churchill’s words should both inspire and instruct us on this tragic day. However the greatest lesson we should draw comes from a later remark by Churchill on his role in the war effort. He said, “It was the nation dwelling all around the globe that had the lion’s heart, I had the luck to be called upon to give the roar.”

I believe profoundly that the English speaking people, dwelling around the globe in London, Delhi, New York, Melbourne, Kingstown, Capetown, Singapore, Toronto, Christchurch, and a million places in between where our tongue is spoken and the spirit of Magna Carta lives, still have the lion’s heart in them.

They showed it on September 11 in New York, they are showing it in London today. Our soldiers show it every day in Afganistan and Iraq.

It is pointless, it is counter productive, to deny that we have suffered a defeat today, nor do I want to pretend that this is the last of the attacks that we will suffer, but I know as surely as I know the history of our glorious past that if we face the adversity of this war with the stoutness of heart, the inflexible determination, and the confidence in our institutions and in the future, that have long marked the character of our people then we have nothing to fear from an ideology that is nothing more than death worshiping nihilism, the dieing remnant of 20th century totalitarianism.

All we wait now is a war leader to give the roar and the enemy will tremble before the people of London, the United Kingdom, and the English Speaking Nation. A people who have shown once again that they have, the Heart of a Lion.

No comments: