On the 80th Anniversary of Churchill’s “Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat” Speech
This newspaper is published weekly. We will be in stores and newsstands on May 13, 2020.
May 13 is a significant date. On May 13, 1940 one of the world’s great leaders, Sir Winton Churchill, addressed the House of Commons for the first time as Britain’s Prime Minister.
He made some promises. We should make similar promises to each other today and going forward. First of all, he made note of Britain’s having before it an “ordeal of the most grievous kind.”
We find ourselves facing an equally dire, yet altogether different, ordeal. He was facing the onset of a World War. We are facing a world at war with a virus.
We are contemplating reopening our economy. We are faced with rebuilding the wreckage left in the wake of this world-wide pandemic.
We are still very much in the throws of infection. We are still experiencing death and many other ill-effects. It still ravages our country in unimaginable ways.
Churchill forecast for his country a prognosis we share. We, too, face “…many, many long months of struggle and of suffering.”
We are as committed today as Sir Winston was then to waging war. He, against the Germans, Italians, and Japanese. We, against COVID-19.
We must be willing to fight “…by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us…” We must wage war against a monstrous and tyrannical virus never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of viruses which have gone on before it.
Our aim must be singular with what was his. We must achieve nothing short of “…Victory!”
“Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.” We must fight this virus and seek to reverse the damage it has done to our human vitality and the death it has wrought to our families, friends, neighbors, and economy.
One litmus test exposing the dire impact the virus has caused I learned from an unusual source. I was watching Real Time with Bill Maher. Maher and his guests have before scoffed at what they described as a right-winged position the cure to the present disease is more damaging than the disease. Republicans have been lambasted by Maher and others for this belief.
Now Bill Maher seems to concede the cure is worse than the disease. These days, this may well be the only thing on which the two parties agree. If a consensus has been reached between the two, it must be all the more true.
I, like Churchill 80-years before me, have nothing much to offer you, my fellow Kentuckians. I do have my, “…blood, toil, tears, and sweat.” You may have these.
May 13 is a good day to make this pledge to each other. Especially as we will shortly begin emerging from our viral bunkers hopeful to reclaim our lives and responsibility, once more, for our livelihoods. Perhaps we should “…go forward together with (all) our pitied strength.”
Yep, that seems like a pretty good idea. Guess I’ll be seeing you when the fog has lifted.
This is your old Uncle Abe and I am still up here SHOUTING FROM THIS MOUNTAIN-TOP!