Friday, August 05, 2005

Studies in Masculinity: Of Heroes and Heroism

Thanks to the boys at Xmarks for the heads up.

Though I had not previously heard of him, a gentleman by the name of Ernest Alvia (Smokey) Smith has just passed away. Why such an event is worthy of note, is that 'Smokey' Smith performed certain actions during World War II which not only would earn him the Victoria Cross
but also serve as an example of some of what it means to be a man.

Some of his story can be found here and a tribute here.

Would that we had more such examples, and hear more such stories, to inspire and to guide.

Why is that hearing of such encounters stirs up the emotions and will of men? I think because so much of what it takes to make such a story, resounds with what it means to be a man.

Sacrifice, service, courage, resilience, and a will to fight to the last.

There is something within a man that tells him of his calling. That should ever the need arise for someone to protect against attack and defend against evil, if ever there is a call for someone to bear the brunt and to get dirty and damaged while maintaining peace for families and friends at 'home', his should be the first feet to cross the line, and the last to return when the job is done.

To be a man is to know that part of your calling is to be willing to die to prevent anyone else's ever having to.

Men like 'Smokey' Smith lived that, and they inspire us all to do the same.