Thursday, October 25, 2007

Saint Crispin's Day

Today is Saint Crispin’s Day. Saint Crispin’s Day was immortalized in Henry V by William Shakespeare. When I first heard the Saint Crispin’s Day speech, it really struck a cord with me. It expresses exactly what one should strive to be when the chips are really down. At the end of this I have quoted the Saint Crispin’s Day speech. In my opinion the qualities that are praised in this speech are shown by a real life hero: Lt. Michael P. “Murph” Murphy.

Navy Seal Michael Murphy was deployed in Afghanistan. He wore a New York Firehouse patch on his uniform. In June of 2005 he and three other seals were surrounded by Taliban fighters. They were outgunned and running out of ammo. They couldn’t transmit on their radio because they were in the bottom of a ravine. Lt. Murphy calmly took his cell phone to a clearing, exposing himself to fire but calling in help for his fellow soldiers. While he was calling, he was shot in the back. He picked his phone back up, and continued to make the call.

Only one of Murhpy’s teammates survived. However, the bravery Murphy showed earned him the Medal of Honor. Words can’t express the admiration I have for Lt. Murphy. It is because of the bravery of men and women like Lt. Michael “Murph” Murphy that my daughter can grow up in a free country. So, when you think of St. Crispin day, remember Shakespeare’s Speech from Henry V, I think “Murph” would have approved:

Westmoreland: O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men England
That do no work to-day!

KING: What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

1 comment:

Mr President said...

What a great piece of inspiration for a well-deserved piece about a real hero.

Like you said, that story of heroism is by no means an exception and it's because of the bravery they show that we live in a free society.

Maybe next time people criticise the war they'll realise that their right to do so, the freedom of speech they take for granted, is guaranteed by these brave men and women.