The ancient Greek city-states had the Battle of Thermopylae and the Battle of Marathon, Rome had Horatius on the Bridge. In spite of some debate among historians, all justifiably stand as testaments to what a relatively small but determined group (or an individual) can do when facing seemingly overwhelming odds. Everyone with an interest in character should read about them. My adopted “home state” has its own equally compelling story (more on that, later).
There is a lesson to be learned from these events. Contrary to what some suggest, the primary lesson goes far beyond military operations and armed encounters. The lesson is independent of the times, places and cultures in which the participants lived. The lesson is about duty, character and honor. There are times when those who declare themselves to be honorable men and women must make a decision. That such a decision will, for most of us, thankfully seldom involve arms or violence makes it no less important. Will we oppose the thing that proposes to take from us that which we claim to value most (e.g. home, family, liberty, security, life, faith, dignity, honor) or will we decline to do what must be done? Will we decide to disgrace ourselves and all we claim to hold dear, or will we stand in the gap? Will we do what is right, or what is convenient? Are we willing to face the fact that we might not win and do what we must anyway, or will we use the possibility of loss as an excuse for cowardice?
If you decline or refuse to resist tyranny, speak out against injustice or protect your home and family, how will you call yourself a man or woman? If you suggest to others that they, too, embrace cowardice how will you look yourself in the mirror or your family members in their eyes?
Listen to the words of Samuel Adams and try, really hard, to look beyond the current debate over gun rights. Look instead for an attitude toward what is right and just.
As for my adopted “home state”…
177 years ago, today, a group of 189 Texans fought a desperate battle against a force of 1800 Mexican soldiers led by General Santa Anna. In the end, the defenders were all killed. And they took fully 1/3 of the attackers with them. Six weeks later, Mexican forces were curb stomped at the Battle of San Jacinto and General Santa Anna was captured. Remember the Alamo.