Wednesday, March 16, 2005


From Oxford we drove to Bladon, a sleepy little town where Winston Churchill is buried in the family cemetery. It’s a small, unassuming grave for a man of such tremendous import, and the English know it, but it was Churchill’s wish that he be buried there. People often say that Churchill was born to lead during World War II, and his masterful use of the English language bring his speeches nearly to the level of literature:
I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us.

Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.

Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'

- Speech to House of Commons, June 18, 1940.
If only our current President were half as erudite!


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