None but the brave, none but the brave



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NONE BUT THE BRAVE, NONE BUT THE BRAVE”….

Alexander’s Feast or the Power of Music is an ode (“a type of lyrical verse”) which was written by John Dryden (1631-1700). The original ode was put to music by the English baroque composer and organist, Jeremiah Clarke (1674-1707). The work is not historic. That is, it is antidotal in nature.

(John “Town-Bayes” Dryden was an influential English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright of the Restoration Period [of the monarchies of England, Scotland, and Ireland which began in 1660]. Dryden was the Poet Laureate of England in 1688.)

The poem describes a feast which was given by Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) after his defeat of the last King of the Achaemenid Empire: Darius III (38b-350 BC) of Persia. The setting of the poem was the ancient capital of Persepolis.

The first chorus (“a refrain in which others, such as audience members, join a soloist in a song”) of this work is:

Happy, happy, happy pair!

None but the brave,

None but the brave,

None but the brave deserves the fair.”

During a process of nearly 400 years, this refrain has evolved into the signature context (its words and its sounds) for great acts of courage “under extreme conditions of death.”

The “Medal of Honor” is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States Government. The award is given to members of the United States Armed Forces for actions which are of “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.”

Due to the “Medal of Honors’” extreme criteria (for the award), most recipients are not alive when it is awarded (at least, from 1941). The award was established on July 12, 1862. It was first awarded during the American Civil War (1861-1865). It was last awarded on May 2, 2011. The total number of recipients is 3,473.

There have been 19, two-time recipients of the “Medal of Honor.”

Two of these recipients were Louis Cukela (1888-1956) and Matej Kocak (1882-1918). They received their awards on the same day [July 18, 1918] in the same action [Soissons engagement] in the same war [World War I].

(World War I was fought between 1914 and 1918.)

Louis was born Vjekosalav Lujo Cukela on May I, 1888 in the Dalmatian city of Split, Croatia.

In 1913, Louis and his brother immigrated to the United States, and they eventually settled in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

On January 31, 1917, Louis (his second enlistment) joined the United States Marine Corps. He became a member of the 66th Company, 1st Battalion, Fifth Marine Regiment. He was awarded the “Medal of Honor” by both the U. S. Army and by the U. S. Navy for his actions on July 18, 1918 during the Soissons engagement (July 18 through July 22) in France (near Villers-Cotterets). His rank was that of a gunnery sergeant.

…. “Despite the warnings of his men, the gunnery sergeant crawled out from the flank and advanced alone towards the Germen lines. Getting beyond the strong point despite heavy fire, ‘Gunny’ Cukela captured one gun by bayoneting its crew. Picking up their hand grenades, he then demolished the remaining portion of the strong point from the shelter of a nearby gun pit. He took four prisoners and captured two undamaged machine guns (the Army citation).

In total, Louis served a few days less than 32 years of active duty for his two enlistments. He died on March 19, 1956. He was 67 years-old. He was buried with full military honors in Arlington Cemetery on March 22, 1956.

Louis was a true American hero, and he was one of the many.

Matej was born in Egbell, Kingdom of Hungary (Gbely, Slovakia) on December 3, 1882. He immigrated into the United States (Pittsburg, Pennsylvania) in 1906. On January 23, 1918, he joined the United States Marine Corps (his third enlistment). He became a member of the 66th Company, Fifth Marine Regiment. He was awarded the “Medal of Honor” by both the U. S. Army and by the U. S. Navy for his actions on July 18, 1918 during the Soissons engagement (July 18 through July 22) in France (near Villers-Cotterets). His rank was that of sergeant.

…. “When the advance of his battalion was checked by a hidden machine-gun nest, he went forward alone, unprotected by covering fire from his own men, and worked in between the Germen positions in the face of fire from enemy covering detachments. Locating the machine-gun nest, he rushed it and with his bayonet drove off the crew. Shortly after this he organized 25 French colonial soldiers who had become separated from their company and led them in attacking another machine-gun nest, which was also put out of action” (the Army citation).

Mateq was killed in action on October 4, 1918 while taking part in the Allied drive against the enemy in the Argonne Forest in France. He was 35 years-old. He was buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Romagne, France.

Mateq was a true American hero, and he was one of the many.

Although war will always be a political strategy of the “oligarchs”, the many who actually do the fighting are not participating for reasons of wealth, power, and greed. They are fighting for each other, and they are fighting for their country.

Thank you, Louis and Mateq, for your service to the United States of America and to your service to each other.

And, thank you for immigrating to the United States of America: …. “None but the brave, none but the brave, none but the brave deserves”…. their freedom.





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