Powerful Words

I’m talking about the words that stand alone, that resonate within us by their mere existence. By the sight of them scrawled on a sheet of paper or flashed on a TV screen, voiced by a moderator or spoken in conversation. Singular names ~ people, places, things ~ of such power that their mention or reading takes one to that very place or conjures that very image, without aid of date, map or explanation. Sometimes Major Dad and I will be listening/talking/reading and one of those words will strike me and I have to say to him “that is one of the most beautiful words in the English Language”. And then I say that word again for good measure ~ and nod ‘yeah’ in satisfaction ~ before going back to whatever it was we were doing. A good word, a powerful word, is like cream to a cat.

You all are the most literate, incredible, weirdly wonderful group I’ve ever had the honor to call ‘friends’. So bear with me. I’ve had this little exercise running through my brain and thought, if it made any sense at all, I’d share. Invite you to join. Maybe jangle loose some long buried treasures. Maybe make you smile and ‘a-ha!’ when you recollected them, if this makes any sense to you at all, celebrating words.
I thought I would start with something easy, in a profound sort of way. Consider this past weekend and all the beautiful tributes for the fallen from Bingley, Sheila, Ken’s links and the B-sphere in general. It led me to battles. Those mighty struggles on hallowed bits of earth that are timeless in their right and momentous in their speaking, no matter how removed from the present. No dates, states or countries needed, nor excluded. I’ll lead off. I always appreciate your indulgence, but would relish very much more your good company.

38 Responses to “Powerful Words”

  1. Ken Summers says:

    Iwo Jima.
    San Juan Hill.
    Is that the kind of thing you’re looking for?

  2. Nightfly says:

    I’ve got an example of a battle that leads to an example of what you’re talking about: Gettysburg.
    Lincoln was in and out so fast the photographer barely got his picture snapped.

  3. Crusader says:

    Ia Drang Valley
    Wake Island

  4. Yup, ‘zactly. You got one of the ones that started the whole train of thought right off the bat. We were watching Patton for the umpteenth time this weekend and I thought ‘how long before they relieve Bastogne?’ That’s one of those words.

  5. Crusader says:

    Yeah, we were watching Patton, too. First time Crusader II had seen it.

  6. Right you are, Fly! But POP QUIZ what’s the other great word, ends in burg, that was happening at the exact same time as Gettysburg, damn near as important, but overshadowed by the slaughter in PA (not to mention the time it took to get word back east…)?

  7. Crusader says:

    Mogadishu, as I still get tears in my eyes when watching Blackhawk Down, and Shughart and Gordon volunteer to secure the second crash site.

  8. Crusader says:


  9. Clever boy! U.S. Grant and his little buddy William Tecumsah lay a schmack down.

  10. Lisa says:

    The city surrendered on July 4, 1863, and it was over a hundred years before they celebrated Independence Day again.

  11. Lisa says:

    I meant ALMOST a hundred, not over a hundred. It was 1945.

  12. The_Real_JeffS says:

    Bunker Hill
    Omaha Beach
    The Marne

  13. Waterloo
    The Argonne
    The Alamo

  14. Lisa says:

    The Somme

  15. Ken Summers says:

    The Somme.

  16. Nightfly says:

    Y’all beat me to Vicksburg. Nice.
    We can add Appomatox and Yorktown; Waterloo (despite the crappy disco song); Troy and Marathon; Agincourt.
    We few, we happy few, this band of brothers –
    For whosoe’er sheds blood with me this day
    Is my brother, be he ever so coarse;
    This day will gentle his condition.

    I know that’s not precise. I don’t keep Shakespeare in my hip pocket to whip out on the nonce. Marry, would be wiser, as my wits wander; ’twere better to play the fool than be the fool, in sooth.

  17. (Agincourt ~ BRAVO!)

  18. Crusader says:

    Goose Green

  19. (Lisa ~ Civil War buff or pissed off resident of Vicksburg? {8^P )

  20. Crusader says:

    Archangel (Ouch!)

  21. Crusader says:

    (The Falklands?!)
    Hard to think of bravery without thinking of Paras, and the Falklands was the first real war that I was able to follow as it happened, so it kinda has stuck with me.

  22. Mr. Bingley says:

    Minas Tirith (or should I just say Eomer, ladies?)

  23. Crusader says:

    God help me for saying it, but:
    Dien Bien Phu

  24. John says:

    I’m surprised the Marines on here didn’t say it:
    Belleau Wood
    Bastogne (Nuts!)

  25. Major Dad says:

    Khe Sahn

  26. Major Dad says:


  27. Mr. Bingley says:

    Wow, I’d never heard that about Vicksburg Lisa.

  28. Mr. Bingley says:

    Little Big Horn

  29. red says:

    Oops, I’m late but I have to put in my two cents, even though they have been covered:
    1st one: Thermopalye.
    The Alamo.

  30. Lisa says:

    I minored in Civil War History. The thing about Vicksburg and the 4th has always stood out in my mind because when I first heard that I thought, “Damn, hold a grudge much?” 🙂

  31. Ken Summers says:

    Khe San! That’s the one I was trying to think of earlier. Thanks MD!
    San Jacinto

  32. Ken Summers says:

    Two more that don’t generate the same response as many others, but really should:
    Huertgen Forest

  33. Some things can bear repeating, Red. It’s better when they are.

  34. Mr. Bingley says:

    Like hearing you say “The next round’s on me.”

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