An inscription on a WWII monument in Kohima, India fittingly describes the sacrifices that our soldiers make with their service to our nation. And on this Veterans Day it is also fitting to focus on it. The Inscription says:
“When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today.”
What could be a more fitting tribute to the sacrifices made by our fallen loved ones, comrades, and servants? They gave their last full measure so we could enjoy the freedoms we are so fortunate to have today. They gave their lives for our benefit in the truest definition of sacrifice.
This memorial commemorates the Allied dead that faced the Japanese 15th Army upon its invasion of India in March of 1944. The invasion was beaten back by June of the same year through the sacrifice of these Allied troops.
The words are attributed to John Maxwell Edmonds (1875 -1958), an English Classicist who in 1916 added them to a collection of 12 epitaphs to commemorate World War One. Adding the inscription to the Kohima monument was a suggestion by Major John Etty-Leal, the GSO II of the 2nd Division who was a classical scholar in civilian life.
The verse is thought to have been 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.”
And now we too can recall this verse etched into a stone in a far away and foreign land as a perfect tribute to our fallen as well as for those who gave service to their fellows by wearing the uniform of our armed forces.
So, thank you all. We appreciate your sacrifice. And happy Veterans Day.