This picture inspires me and evokes deep respect. It’s 601 Squadron RAF Fighter Command scrambling in 1941. In 1940-41, all across south-east England, men from all over the English-speaking world (along with some who had escaped occupied Europe) threw themselves into battle against a national socialist dictatorship that wanted to destroy our entire civilization. They sortied again and again, splashing bomber after bomber, getting shot down and going up again, and never giving in. The invasion never came. Their sceptred isle stayed free.
The odds were long, and the stakes infinite. What these men were doing, and the risks they were taking, mattered. And they knew it. Because the odds were so long, and because life expectancy for a fighter pilot was so short, these men could and did live and fight and die like they had nothing to lose.
We know how it turned out. These kind of men, running toward their little fighters, became The Few to whom So Many Owe So Much. And 1940 entered our collective memory as The Finest Hour.
Keep these men and this picture in mind when you consider New Rhodesia and the American Resistance during the next few years.
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