Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day Philosophizing

CM SEAL Team blogger: Tom Rancich

"Rest in Peace"---nice sentiment--but what if you don't want to? In the Navy it is fair winds and following seas--and I am like---but the tempest is the cool part! And the old Irish blessing, "May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face". If you have spent your whole life living for the challenge, why be wished ease?

Perhaps this is a retired sailor waging philosophical and hating not being in the fray, but 60 years from now when I die--wish me the worst storm ever and an eternity of impossible challenges---and a G&B boat to face it in.

My favorite song, so appropriate for today, is "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda". "The song describes the futility, gruesome reality and the destruction of war, while criticising those who seek to glorify it," says wikipedia.

"When I was a young man I carried my pack
And I lived the free life of a rover
From the Murrays green basin to the dusty outback
I waltzed my Matilda all over
Then in nineteen fifteen my country said Son
It's time to stop rambling 'cause there's work to be done
So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun
And they sent me away to the war
And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As we sailed away from the quay
And amidst all the tears and the shouts and the cheers
We sailed off to Gallipoli

How well I remember that terrible day
How the blood stained the sand and the water
And how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter
Johnny Turk he was ready, he primed himself well
He chased us with bullets, he rained us with shells
And in five minutes flat he'd blown us all to hell
Nearly blew us right back to Australia
But the band played Waltzing Matilda
As we stopped to bury our slain
We buried ours and the Turks buried theirs
Then we started all over again"

Tom Rancich

Picture courtesy of wikipedia: George Lambert's Anzac, the landing 1915.


Nancy B. said...

A very inspirational yet entertaining post. Could you hum a few bars for me?
Yesterday was a special day in another sense for oldest,born November 11,1979, turned 30. Of course I gave birth at 12 !(An second boy was born on July 4th. He always thought the fireworks were for his birthday.)
So I am doubly patriotic in my own way.
Thanks so much again for your words.
Nancy B

Joe G. said...

Nancy, copy and paste this into your browser. It's the original version:

Nancy B. said...

Got it. Thank you.
Nancy B