Thursday, January 08, 2009


I found this quote by English Poet Laureate John Masefield (1878-1967) after a great deal of internet searching. I had heard it quoted in a documentary about the British Navy. I was immediately struck by the beauty and deep truth of the quote and it made me think about how our greatest generation, those who fought World War II, probably understand it well. I wonder if Americans understand it still.

"Patriotism, in its true form is of the kind they gave, it is not a song in the street or a wreath on a column or a flag flying from a window. It is a thing very holy and very terrible like life itself. It is a burden to be borne, a thing to labor for, and to suffer for and to die for, a thing which gives no happiness, and no pleasantness, but a hard life, an unknown grave, and the respect and bared heads of those who followed."