Every man to do his duty

An inspiring Trafalgar Day to all. Consider Nelson’s words:

First gain the victory and then make the best use of it you can.

If a man consults whether he is to fight, when he has the power in his own hands, it is certain that his opinion is against fighting.

Desperate affairs require desperate measures

It is warm work; and this day may be the last to any of us at a moment. But mark you! I would not be elsewhere for thousands.

Success, I trust — indeed have little doubt — will crown our zealous and well-meant endeavours: if not, our Country will, I believe, sooner forgive an Officer for attacking his Enemy than for letting it alone.

May the Great God, whom I worship, grant to my Country and for the benefit of Europe in general a great and glorious victory; and may no misconduct in anyone tarnish it; and may humanity after Victory be the predominant feature of the British fleet. For myself, individually, I commit my life to Him who made me, and may His blessing light upon my endeavours for serving my Country faithfully. To Him I resign myself and the just cause which is entrusted to me to defend. Amen. Amen. Amen.

Leaders can call to the best in us. I thought often of the inspiring flag signal Horatio Nelson sent on the eve of Trafalgar. “England expects every man will do his duty.” The flags above the Victory didn’t ask or demand obedience in the upcoming fight; they expressed Nelson’s unshakable admiration for and faith in the sailors and patriots he knew them to be.

Stanley A. McChrystal, My Share of the Task (2013)

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Author: LittleHobb

Solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short

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