Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Quite often, those of us on the left are accused by the right of being unpatriotic or anti-American, an odd charge seeing how conservatives opposed our revolution and were the backbone of the Confederacy during the Civil War. In fact, I am very patriotic, especially for the holiest of all military causes in our country's history, the purposeful and organized killing of over 260,000 traitors, slaveholders, and their white supremacist supporters. For that, there could be no higher calling or anything nobler than taking the life of an armed exponent of the ownership of our fellow humans.

To that end, I want to give credit and celebrate the memory of those men and women, where due.

To John Brown, the greatest advocate of the cause of freedom in our nation's history. A man who sacrificed his life to start a war that ended human bondage. A man to whom we owe one our greatest debts of gratitude.

And to those brave men of the Massachusetts 54th, ex-slaves and freed men who took up arms to personally impact the rebellion, sending countless supporters of this evil straight to the fiery cauldrons, and proving once and for all that a republic could be both united and free.

To our increasingly unhallowed campaigner for freedom, Harriet Beecher Stowe, the abolitionist who penned Uncle Tom's Cabin, and was referred to by President Lincoln as "the little lady who started this great war!" It was the best selling book of the 19th century in the US, next to the Bible, and compelled the South to prohibit abolitionist literature, widening the cultural gap between the regions, and helping to precipitate the Civil War.

And to our Spartacus, Nat Turner, who took up arms and killed over 56 slavers, before being captured, and publicly lynched and mutilated by the state of Virginia.

And to 1st Lt. Alonzo Cushing, recently awarded the Medal of Honor, who volunteered, fought, and was but one of the many real patriots who died in the Civil War, to which according to his citation, "Commanded Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery at Gettysburg, and was hailed by contemporaries as heroic in his actions on the third day of the battle. He was wounded three times. First, he was wounded by a shell fragment that went straight through his shoulder. He was then grievously wounded by a shell fragment which tore into his abdomen and groin. This wound exposed Cushing's intestines which he held in place with his hand as he continued to command his battery. After these injuries a higher ranking officer said, 'Cushing, go to the rear.' Cushing, due to the limited amount of men left, refused to fall back. The severity of his wounds left him unable to yell his orders above the sounds of battle. Thus, he was held aloft by his 1st Sergeant Frederick Fueger, who faithfully passed on Cushing's commands. Cushing was killed when a bullet entered his mouth and exited through the back of his skull. He died on the field at the height of the assault."

And to those millions who died en route, and millions more thrown into the fields to make our tea party settlers comfortable and happy, forced to endure and who outlasted and remain more deserving of citizenship and consideration than the tainted ancestry of your oppressors, this Memorial Day dedication is to you.

They Will Be Done

WE see not, know not; all our way
Is night,--with Thee alone is day
From out the torrent's troubled drift,
Above the storm our prayers we lift,
Thy will be done!

The flesh may fail, the heart may faint,
But who are we to make complaint,
Or dare to plead, in times like these,
The weakness of our love of ease?
Thy will be done!

We take with solemn thankfulness
Our burden up, nor ask it less,
And count it joy that even we
May suffer, serve, or wait for Thee,
Whose will be done!

Though dim as yet in tint and line,
We trace Thy picture's wise design,
And thank Thee that our age supplies
Its dark relief of sacrifice.
Thy will be done!

And if, in our unworthiness,
Thy sacrificial wine we press;
If from Thy ordeal's heated bars
Our feet are seamed with crimson scars,
Thy will be done!

If, for the age to come, this hour
Of trial hath vicarious power,
And, blest by Thee, our present pain,
Be Liberty's eternal gain,
Thy will be done!

Strike, Thou the Master, we Thy keys,
The anthem of the destinies!
The minor of Thy loftier strain,
Our hearts shall breathe the old refrain,
Thy will be done!
---John Greenleaf Whittier

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