Sunday, January 21, 2007

24 Fever…Embarrassingly, I Just Got It

When 24 first premiered on Fox a couple years ago, I watched it and enjoyed it greatly. I then missed the next few episodes and never went back that first season. I just don’t watch much TV at all unless its news, and even then prefer breaking news around a big issue. After missing the first season, I certainly saw no value in starting season 2, and so on, and so on…

My sister-in-law wanted me to Tivo this season’s 2 day, 4 hour marathon season openers and I made time to watch them. Fortunately. I’m hooked.

In the show, things seem very dark for the United States. I don’t think after the Nuke went off, with the threat of 4 more to follow, that things could get much darker.

I had a flash back to a series of books I read sometime ago about the life of Winston Churchill (The Last Lion Volumes 1 and 2). Here is a man leading a nation that had death at its front door for 7 long years, and for a few of those years was mercilessly attacked by fellow government leaders that believed Britain could bring about peace and tranquility by appeasing and working with Hitler.

Despite Hitler’s words about conquering all of his enemies and ushering in a 1,000 year government that ruled the world, there were still British leaders that didn’t take the madman at his word. When someone has the power and weapons to destroy you, and tells you that he intends to, believe him.

What those British “leaders” didn’t understand is that Britain was a primary target of a madman that sought to end it’s influence over Europe and the world. Hitler had resolved to expend the blood, sweat and treasure of Germany to wipe out the British Islands.

We face an enemy as horrific and death-fascinated as Hitler and his SS Death squads. I went back and found one of the speeches Sir Winston Churchill delivered during some of the darkest days of WWII.

This is the closing of a speech he delivered to the British Parliament on June 18th, 1940:

“What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. 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.’”

Sir Churchill delivered this speech after a horrific two weeks of defeats and failures capped off by the retreat at Dunkirk and the collapse of the French government to the invading Nazi army.

How timely is his message today as we face those that are sworn to remove our heads from our idle, rich, distracted, petty, arguing, preoccupied, partisan and appeasing shoulders.

Sorry for going political…24 got me all worked up.

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Anonymous said...

Great writing Rich! Love the 24 piece with the speech from Churchill.