Saturday, June 25, 2005

The Kohima Epitaph

All of our tomorrows come from the sacrifices of selfless patriots. Every day it seems, young soldier lives are lost, mostly in Iraq but other places as well, as our modern patriots fight the enemy who vows to destroy our tomorrows.

"When You Go Home,

Tell Them Of Us And Say,

For Their Tomorrow,

We Gave Our Today"

The famous words above are attributed to John Maxwell Edmonds (1875-1958), an English classical scholar. In the early 1900s he published a collection of twelve suggested epitaphs for War Memorials. This one of the collection became inscribed on a World War II memorial to British soldiers, lost in 1944 while gallantly fighting the Japanese invasion at Kohima, Nagaland, India.

The verse was probably inspired by the Greek lyric poet, Simonides of Ceos (556-468 BC), who wrote after the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC: "Go tell the Spartans, thou that passest by, That faithful to their precepts here we lie." Since 1944, Edmond's epitaph has become famous and has been written on many Veteran Memorials and Monuments throughout the English speaking world.

Trackedback at WizBang.

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