Wednesday, August 15, 2007

On the Edge of Eternity

Some historical events are so obviously significant that even as they are unfolding we perceive their importance.

We all know where we were when the towers fell on 9/11....

We remember what we were doing when we heard that President Kennedy had been assassinated....

But when word arrived one April morning that a detachment of elite British troops was marching out of Boston with orders to arrest Samuel Adams and John Hancock, and to seize and destroy colonial arms and munitions at Concord, who understood that a new superpower was being conceived?

When, one Sunday morning in Hawaii, it was reported that the expected flight of B-17's was on the radar scope, except that the blip seemed to be coming from the wrong direction, who would have thought that less than four years later gigantic clouds would rise to heights of sixty thousand feet over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, compelling the Empire of Japan to surrender or face annihilation?

Who would have imagined that the heirs of those militiamen, who were facing on the fields of Massachussets the most elite troops of the Kingdom of Great Britain, would one day be capable of waging war, having harnessed the power of the sun?

When the Continental Army marched into camp for winter at Valley Forge, many of the men had footwear so inadequate that you could track the army by the blood stains their feet left on the ground. The soldiers often used to put their hats on the ground and stand on them while on guard duty to keep their feet a little less cold.

Yet, that was a professional American Army that General Washington led out of Valley Forge the next spring, and that rag-tag army went on to win the war against one of the most powerful empires of the day.

One day, a few decades later, America was again at war with Britain. The British burned Washington, DC, and were on their way to burn Baltimore. To do so, their ships would have to sail past Fort McHenry.

The British knew that if they came within range of Fort McHenry's guns, their fleet would be sunk. So, the Royal Navy had to subdue Fort McHenry first; only then could Baltimore be attacked.

The Royal Navy's guns could shoot farther than those of the Americans at Fort McHenry, so the plan was to bombard the fort from a relatively safe distance, and compel the Americans to submit. The British fired all night, and the American garrison could do nothing but sit and take it.

The next morning, as the sun rose, the British looked to see whose flag was flying over Fort McHenry: was it still the Stars and Stripes, over a fort still ready to defend Baltimore? Or, had the Americans wearied of the bombardment and struck their colors, which would allow the British to sail by and burn the city?

And, who could have known that our national anthem was born at that moment?



Seldom do we actually understand the historical significance of the events that transpire around us; seldom do we perceive the historical context and importance of our actions as we go through our days.

Yet, to me, one thing is clear: the efforts of Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld are of such historical significance. If you are not familiar with them, please see the links on the sidebar, or visit her website, especially this page.



The legal action that bin Mahfouz is taking against her is a blip on the radar scope, coming from an ominous direction; it is the elite soldiers of the enemy garrison sallying forth to seize our weapons.

The legal harassment she faces is the bombardment on the ramparts of our liberty.

The lack of support for her by her fellow Americans is like the inadequate clothes on the army at Valley Forge.

And Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is an American hero, a patriot on a par with the best this country has ever produced.



And here we are....

We gaze into the abyss....

We are on the....



Edge of Eternity
(to the tune of Edge of Seventeen, by Stevie Nicks)

Just like the patriots of old...
fights the battle that looks like she's fighting....
whoo... whoo... whoo
Just like the patriots of old...
fights a battle...
looks like she's fighting...
ooo... evil... ooo... crime ooo

And the court date comes....
First Amendment case
defending our free speech...
We may be free
Say to our author hero...
Freedom's worth sacrifice

She was no more... than a scholar then
Well she... seemed dedicated...
something within her
But the moment... that she first penned
Mahfouz... funds... terror...
On the edge of... Eternity

Just like the patriots of old...
fights the battle that looks like she's fighting....
whoo... whoo... whoo
Just like the patriots of old...
fights a battle...
looks like she's fighting...
ooo... evil... ooo... crime ooo

I watched today... maybe I will watch again...
tomorrow
And the rhetoric there well, it was hauntingly...
familiar
And are you seeing
what she tries to do for us?
With the heart of a warrior
and the work of a scholar
And research... freedom's worth sacrifice

Just like the patriots of old...
fights the battle that looks like she's fighting....
whoo... whoo... whoo
Just like the patriots of old...
fights a battle...
looks like she's fighting...
ooo... evil... ooo... crime ooo

America... our great nation...
have we lost our way?
But history repeats itself...
but history...
Does not change
And so... with the slow... graceful flow....
of time
She went forth... with an age-old...
desire... to be free
On the edge of... Eternity

Just like the patriots of old...
fights the battle that looks like she's fighting....
whoo... whoo... whoo
Just like the patriots of old...
fights a battle...
looks like she's fighting...
ooo... evil... ooo... crime ooo

Well then suddenly...
there was no one... left following...
Her court case... yeah, yeah...
Lack of publicity
No one noticed freedom slipping away
Oh I went searchin' for my liberty...
On TV... and on the Internet
Am I still free...
Or have we submitted yet?
Hear the call from Eternity
"Freedom isn't free."

Just like the patriots of old...
fights the battle that looks like she's fighting....
whoo... whoo... whoo
Just like the patriots of old...
fights a battle...
looks like she's fighting...
ooo... evil... ooo... crime ooo

Will I have you in the morning?
Do I have you...
at nightfall?
A country to enjoy you...
An author hero... to defend you...
Lady liberty...
My love for you has not grown cold...
Freedom (thank you author hero) never gets old...

Just like the patriots of old...
fights a battle...
looks like she's fighting...
ooo... evil... ooo... crime ooo

7 comments:

anticant said...

When I was a kid, one of the earliest 'serious' novels that kick-started my interest in history was Kenneth Roberts' "Rabble in Arms" - still a great read. It left me with an abiding fascination for Benedict Arnold, surely one the great tragic figures of Anglo-American history.

Aurora said...

Yankee, you are fighting right there alongside her; may you also share in her victory in some way.
God bless you.

Debbie said...

Excellent post and you have the knack for making readers think -- really think -- and that's a gift.

Debbie
Right Truth
http://www.righttruth.typepad.com

WomanHonorThyself said...

thanks YD...insightful as always..I wish I had something comforting to add..sigh.

Yankee Doodle said...

Thanks, all! :)

Aurora, when she wins, all humanity will share in her victory -- in no small way. And, I know you know that; I'm just putting it into words for us. ;)

Angel, you do have something comforting to add: help get the word out. Help get our hero in this legal Valley Forge some decent footwear; help get our hero in this legal Fort McHenry some longer-range cannon. ;)

Thanks again, my friends!

Aurora said...

Yankee, very true that we'll all share in the freedom. I was actually remembering a speaker I heard who spoke about prayer and how God counts you a partner in a victory when you are one of the ones who prayed for it to happen. And now as I think of it, I'm remembering those Americans who prayed and the events of WW2 radically changed direction and the allies won. Kind of like the butterfly effect (not the movie which I haven't seen but the concept of spiritual cause and effect)

Flanders Fields said...

Yankee, I left you a message in reply to your message on my post, which you may want to review. I hope it has helpful info.