I’ve never been to Great Britain. Nevertheless, I’ve always had enormous respect for the land that was ancestral home to many of my ancestors. I’ll stop short of calling myself an Anglophile, but I’ve always looked at our cousins across the pond as folks cut from the same cloth; lovers of freedom, lovers of truth and justice.
Some of my most cherished heroes came from that island nation that not so long ago, impacted the world such that it was said ‘the sun never sets upon the British Empire.’ Among my favorites? Boudicca, the warrior queen who fiercely resisted Roman rule. Arthur, part-legend, likely part-fact, who may have been escended from Romans, and who resisted the Saxon incursions.
St. Patrick whose preaching helped convert Ireland to Christianity. Then there’s Alfred. the only English king to be given the honorific title, ‘The Great.’ A king, a leader of armies, a scholar and a devout Christian, he preserved much of his land from being lost to the Norsemen. And there’s King Harold, who died at Hastings fighting William the Conqueror, and William himself who united the land under his rule and that of his aristocracy (for better or worse).
Sir Thomas More who refused to yield his conscience and faith to Henry the VIII and lost his head for it. William Shakespeare, who made English a language of angelic beauty. Sir William Marshall, the last of the great knights. William Wilberforce, who ended slavery in England with the power of rhetoric and truth.
Fast forward a bit and we have heroes such as the Duke of Wellington who handed Napoleon his defeat at Waterloo. Admiral Horatio Nelson, who defeated the French in the battle of Trafalgar, and died in the action. GK Chesterton, the brilliant Catholic writer and gentleman, who carried a sword-cane in his daily walks.
Churchill who vowed to fight the Nazis to the last man. The common heroes of Dunkirk who rescued an army in everything that would float. Gen. Montgomery, who gave the Germans fits in North Africa. C.S. Lewis and JRR Tolkien, who served together in WWI, but whose contributions to wisdom and literature remain of epic proportion.
Why am I listing all of these great men? Because I am confident not a single one of them would have stood by while two nut-jobs butchered a British soldier on a London street, in broad daylight. Last week, of course, Drummer Lee Rigby, a member of the Second Fusilliers, was run down by a car driven by Islamic terrorists.
They then carved up the young soldier and father and beheaded him. Courageous bystanders took cell-phone videos. A genuinely courageous lady sat by the mortally wounded young man, praying for him, as another engaged one of the blood-covered murderers in conversation.
Police with guns had to be called to the scene, apparently by unarmed and uninvolved police officers who were waiting for back-up. And the blood flowed, with everyone polite and proper.
The heroes listed above? Well they would have hurled themselves at the butchers. They would have drawn swords and battle axes, or dueling pistols or muskets or quarter-staffs or long-bows, or Webley revolvers, SMLE rifles or pitch-forks. They would have been enraged and outraged and felt the battle fury seize them.
And if they did it now, they would have been arrested and charged with some ridiculous crime for being involved; for trying to save a life. For being the embodiment of Anglo-Saxon and Norman culture, history and genetics.
In response to the fact that the two attackers had been shot by police, a police commissioner is quoted in the BBC as saying, ‘at this stage, we are not pursuing any criminal or misconduct offenses.’ For shooting the terrorists, that is. Thank God for British justice! No police prosecuted for shooting terrorists!
My Appalachian blood boils when I consider what happened on that city street. Alas, we live in a time of deadly civility. We want to interrogate and understand; to subdue and dialog. We need women to chat with killers and PC police officers to make sure they shoot attackers properly and without malice.
I know. It happened in London, not here. I like to think it would be different on an American street, especially with so many armed citizens. But if we lose the spirit of greatness, if we lose the spirit of fire and justice, if we lose the fundamental ability to say ‘this is wrong!’ If we stop saying, ‘this is my land and this is my countryman!’ If we quench the battle fire in our hearts, then it won’t be long until we face the same situations.
Let this be a lesson, for us and our cousins across the sea. We cannot survive as a culture, as a civilization, if we are sheep who raise, feed, coddle and defend wolves. So look to history. Look to courage and valor and sacrifice, my fellow free-men and free-women. And if all you have is a rock, throw it at evil with all your might. It’s what Alfred the Great would have done. We should do no less.