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Saturday, Feb. 01, 2003 at 7:19 PM
Why do men and women stand in opposition to tyranny? Why is it that some would rather die than bend their neck to the collar?
During World War II the members of the French Resistance knew that they did not have the force to drive the occupying German forces from their land. So, why did they fight? Why did they continue to fight with no hope of winning? Why did they fight when capture meant a certain slow and painful death at the hands of the Gestapo? Many did die - tortured to death horribly and in mortal agony. Yet, they resisted to the end most not betraying their comrades. They could easily have acquiesced to the German occupation - many did, but not the handful of brave spirits who would rather die than be bound in the chains of an evil occupier.
Throughout the course of the war there was a battle cry, spoken softly and behind closed doors, viva la resistance’. Many men and women died a brutal death. When the German occupation forces were driven from france it became a celebration of the men and women, living and dead, who had not bowed in submission to tyranny: VIVA LA RESISTANCE’!
“You cannot conquer a free man. The most you can do is kill him.” - Robert Heinlein
The spirit of resistance to tyranny is something fundamental to the nature of who we are and what we are. Noble spirits resist unto death. The craven die a thousand times.
What was the spirit of Geronimo? Cochise?
How ever did a rag tag band of colonists, poorly armed and poorly fed, expect to withstand and beat back the assault of the greatest military force on the planet - the British Empire.?
Why, when the occupying Germans demanded all Jews identify themselves by sewing a Star of David to their coats, did the King of Norway take his daily horseback ride with Star of David prominently affixed to his breast? Within days every Norwegian had done the same - much to the rage of the Germans. The Norwegian resistance fought as bravely as the french.
Why, when Germany invaded Poland, did the Polish Cavalry charge full into the guns of German Panzers? They stood no chance in this clash of 19th Century Warriors versus the Mechanized 20th Century death machines of the Germans. Yet they rode. And their spirit still lives.
How ever did a band of starving men and women stand up in the hour before darkness and death in the Warsaw Ghetto?
Why did 300 Spartans stand, and die to the last, in that Greek Mountain Pass at Thermopylae holding back a force of 10,000 Persians? Their courage and sacrifice enabled the Greeks to rally their forces and beat back the Persian force. But why did they do it?
There is a spirit in the deepest being of some men and women. It is an inner will that says I will not bow my head in submission. I would rather die free than live a slave. I will not go along with tyranny merely because it would be the easier course. Does that spirit still exist in this land? Can you summon forth the will to stand for that which is right?
We now face the evil of madman who would bring the world to war for foolish and vainglorious reasons - for the mere lust for wealth and position. Our Constitution has been offended and our armies turned to an ill conceived and murderous end. Will you stand by in acquiescence? Or, will you raise your voice in opposition to evil? And evil it is.
This spirit of resistance was spoke nobly by a Patriot with which many are no doubt familiar. The words bear repeating loudly and often. In the hushed quiet of a small Church and on an otherwise nondescript Spring day in Virginia a man stood. All eyes in the quiet of moment turned to him and Patrick Henry spoke thus:
“Is life so dear or peace so sweet that it must purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it Almighty God! I care not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!” Patrick Henry March 23, 1775
“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may be even a worse fate. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”
Sir Winston Churchill
V I V A L A R E S I S A N T A N C E ‘ !
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