I’ve been thinking this morning about Julius Caesar’s immortal phrase, later adopted as a Scottish motto and, informally, by certain Scots-Irish warriors under the American flag: “Nemo me impune lacessit,” or no one crosses me with impunity.
A military tradition that began with the likes of Rogers’ Rangers has notched yet another achievement. H.W. Crocker, the author of a rollicking history of American military arms entitled Don’t Tread on Me, put it this way:
The American fighting man reflects the bravery, ingenuity, and grit of a people whose westward expansion required self-confidence, self-reliance, resilience, and determination. His leaders have been above all practical men who know what needs to be done and do it (men like George Washington, Andrew Jackson, and Ulysses S. Grant), who are guided by moral probity (Robert E. Lee, Chester Nimitz, Norman Schwarzkopf), and who operate by dash and daring (Stephen Decatur, George S. Patton, Tommy Franks). As long as America remembers her heritage and retains the best of her own character, she will win her wars.