Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Today is Remarkable Battle Day

October 25th. No year attached, just a day of the year. As I researched some connections I have to this day in 1998, I have discovered it's interesting how so many battles of historical note happened on this day. I am most attached due to this day due to my Naval career, which included a tour aboard USS CARR (FFG-52). Gunner's Mate Paul Henry Carr, USN, of Checotah, OK, is the namesake for the vessel. He was awarded the Silver Star for his actions aboard the USS SAMUEL B ROBERTS (DE-413) at the Battle Off Samar on October 25th, 1944. My post last year, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the last great sea battle held in the history of mankind is here. The best book I have read on this battle, which brought together many first person accounts was "Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors" by James Hornfischer. I highly recommend it. Walking backwards on the timeline of history to October 25th, 1854. The Crimean War was raging and the 13th Hussars of British cavalry rode to their deaths and immortality at Balaklava in the poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson. The last stop on this October 25th journey is a day of special significance is the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. The recollection of this battle is usually provided in the form of the stirring and often quoted call to the troops to rise to the challenge of the day before them in Shakespeare's play "Henry V:"
This day is called the feast of Crispian: He that outlives this day, and comes safe home, Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named, And rouse him at the name of Crispian. He that shall live this day, and see old age, Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours, And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:' Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars. And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.' Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot, But he'll remember with advantages What feats he did that day: then shall our names. Familiar in his mouth as household words Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter, Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester, Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd. This story shall the good man teach his son; And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by, From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remember'd; We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition: And gentlemen in England now a-bed Shall think themselves accursed they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
I'm amazed that these several battles of major significance would all fall on this day in history. Each battle can be rightly described as courageous, filled with honor and sacrifice for a higher calling, that have been noted by history as something out of the ordinary. That's today's history lesson. Thanks to Mudville Gazette for the Open Post! Update 10/26/2005: Check out ANYDAY Today in History to see what happened on any day of the year!

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