With Memorial Day coming next month, let me reflect upon the timelessness of the bond of fighting men.
I’m a history buff from way back, and that means with military things. Yes, I know, weird that a woman would appreciate the history of military events, but I think I must have been a warrior or a soldier in a past life. I just appreciate that kind of thing. I think what I appreciate the most is the camaraderie, the bravery in the face of total and utter fear, and the ability to sacrifice one’s self for the common good. I admire courage. I admire young men not old enough to legally drink yet but old enough to fight and die for a cause they believe in.
Bravery is courage in the face of fear.
Consequently, I love military books as well as military movies. I’ve seen pretty much all of the movies – WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Medieval, Napoleonic wars, etc. Some of my favorites are WWII movies. Men from that era have been called our Greatest Generation and I agree 100%. They absolutely were. One of my favorite all-time shows is Band of Brothers. What an amazing, in-depth look into the psyche of men who faced death on a daily basis. They lost best friends, saw carnage, fought for freedom, yet remained human throughout it all. I think that must have been the hardest part – trying to stay human.
Same thing goes for Medieval knights – much like the military of the United States of America has done since the creation of the country, Medieval knights went through some changes in the 366 years considered the High Middle Ages. From coats of mail and leather armor to plate armor of tempered steel, better swords, better general equipment, and to finally the introduction of gunpowder and firearms. That’s where Medieval becomes something else because, certainly, a knight on horseback is no match for a cannon.
Still, Medieval men, this Band of Brothers, fought and died together much like men of our era do. Times may change the Band of Brothers mentality never changes. There is something that goes beyond loyalty with these men – trusting the man next to you enough that you knew, if you got into close quarters combat, that he would literally protect your back. He would literally die defending you. Where do you think the modern terms “have your back” or “I’d trust him/her with my life” came from? Those terms came from situations that we, as civilians, can hardly understand. Those terms were born from a bond between brothers, blood or otherwise.
In every book I write, one of the themes is the bond between men – the de Wolfe Pack series, the Unholy Trinity, the Lords of Thunder… all of them. In particular, the Lords of Thunder series gives the reader insight into three brothers and their bond, military and otherwise. It was a fun series to write and to explore what drives men who were determined to help shape England. The de Shera brothers truly are a Band of Brothers in every sense and the passage from Henry V that contains the phrase, Band of Brothers, truly embodies all of the fighting men I have worked so hard to do justice to:
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember’d;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother.
Therefore, for this coming Memorial Day, let’s not just remember the men of our century or century past and what they did for us. Let’s remember all veterans of all wars, men who fought and died for causes that, in many cases, no longer exist. Men who shaped our world. To all of those veterans out there, Medieval or otherwise, we remember.
And we thank you for your service.
Lords of Thunder Trilogy is available for a limited time as a boxed set: https://amzn.to/2FHkpEU