In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free,
While God is marching on!


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Why the "Military" Theme?

The answer to this question lies on several levels. First, the cast of this site reflects my long-held, consuming interest in history generally, so much of which--regrettably, given human nature--has been the product of conflict and national pride, expressed in martial ways. It's also in line with my special interest in the American Civil War, my descent from at least one man who fought in that war (Lt. Ezekiel Josiah Hull, Co. G, 8th Florida Infantry), and my hobby as a reenactor (155th New York Volunteer Infantry) in The Struggle (more later about why a Son of the Confederacy reenacts as a private in the Union army). On a deeper level, it reflects my belief that our country is now engaged in another, more subtle but no less decisive, "civil war"--that between the atheistic, self-indulgent, dehumanizing culture of the "modern" age and the traditional values of faith, family, patriotism, and personal freedom and responsibility that alone make possible an abundant life, and which made America the hope and refuge of so many millions, for more than two centuries. We are all soldiers in that struggle, regardless of whether we want to be. Aside from its prominence in one of the most inspiring things ever written, Julia Ward Howe's "Battle Hymn of the Republic," the title of the blog, Marching On!, also reflects my faith and determination that those saving principles will endure despite the onslaught, and that the right (as distinguished from the Right, which may or may not) will prevail in the end--even if we have to wait until the Lord's return to this earth. So, let's join together in the Good Fight, and may we all emerge safe at last!


Donna said...

While I am no where near as eloquent as you are, I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading this entry. As a "young adult" in our ever so self indulgent society, I struggle a great deal with the philosophies of many of my peers. While many of them are getting into more debt then they can ever handle, I struggle with defining my needs and wants. I have been truly blessed with a sweet husband who has patience and a loving way of helping me to learn. As I look at those around me in the same phase of life, I really worry about their priorities. I am so grateful to you and mom for teaching me, through example, the importance of family. I know that if mom had a full time job while we were all growing up, things might have been easier, but not better. I am truly grateful for the sacrifices you both made so that she could be home with us. I love you so much and I couldn't ask for better parents. As I look down the road and reflect more and more about being a parent, I can't help but to ponder on the parents that you are to me. I know that I was less than a perfect child, but you guided me and gave me the principles that I need to guide myself through a life of love and service. I want to me a parent more than anything, and I strongly believe that you and mom have provided me with a great foundation to do that!

Thomas said...

Thank you for this comment, Donna! Nothing in the world is sweeter music to a parent's heart than to be told by his or her child that you think we did well and prepared you to be a good parent, too! Honey, there's no such thing as a "perfect" child--thank goodness! How boring would that be? It's our "shortcomings" as much as our virtues that endear us to each other, and that challenge us to strive and excel. I can't begin to express how you and our other children have blessed our lives, and continue to do so! You're all truly gifts from God!

Anonymous said...

First Patti, then Donna, and now Tom. Is this a must if you are a Fleming ... even if only by mariage? And the best thing, all three are oh so different and very enjoyable to read. Keep up the great work!

From a Fleming, by marriage, in PA