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06-05-04, 06:54 AM #1
Why are Marines not called soldiers?
I was using the word soldier in a story and decided to look up the word's meaning, in Dictionary.com.
Word History: Why do soldiers fight? One answer is hidden in the word soldier itself. Its first recorded occurrence is found in a work composed around 1300, the word having come into Middle English (as soudier) from Old French soudoior and Anglo-Norman soudeour.
The Old French word, first recorded in the 12th century, is derived from sol or soud, Old French forms of Modern French sou. There is no longer a French coin named sou, but the meaning of sou alerts us to the fact that money is involved.
Indeed, Old French sol referred to a coin and also meant “pay,” and a soudoior was a man who fought for pay. This was a concept worth expressing in an era when many men were not paid for fighting but did it in service to a feudal superior.
Thus soldier is parallel to the word mercenary, which goes back to Latin mercnnrius, derived from mercs, “pay,” and meaning “working for pay.” The word could also be used as a noun, one of whose senses was “a soldier of fortune.”
Is this than, the reason why Marines are not called soldiers. Because we don't do it for the money?
06-05-04, 08:42 AM #2
Not going to open that discussion again-it's been pretty well batted around here and on other Marine sites BUT, I believe all will here fall in this category sooner or later, in one way or another.
He was getting old and paunchy
And his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion,
Telling stories of the past.
Of a war that he once fought in
And the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies;
They were heroes, every one.
And 'tho sometimes to his neighbors
His tales became a joke,
All his buddies listened quietly
For they knew where of he spoke.
But we'll hear his tales no longer,
For ol' Bob has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer
For a Soldier died today.
He won't be mourned by many,
Just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary,
Very quiet sort of life.
He held a job and raised a family,
Going quietly on his way;
And the world won't note his passing,
'Tho a Soldier died today.
When politicians leave this earth,
Their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing,
And proclaim that they were great.
Papers tell of their life stories
From the time that they were young
But the passing of a Soldier
Goes unnoticed, and unsung.
Is the greatest contribution
To the welfare of our land,
Some jerk who breaks his promise
And cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow
Who in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his country
And offers up his life?
The politician's stipend
And the style in which he lives,
Are often disproportionate,
To the service that he gives.
While the ordinary Soldier,
Who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal
And perhaps a pension, small.
It's so easy to forget them,
For it is so many times
That our Bobs and Jims and Johnnys,
Went to battle, but we know,
It is not the politicians
With their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom
That our country now enjoys.
Should you find yourself in danger,
With your enemies at hand,
Would you really want some cop-out,
With his ever waffling stand?
Or would you want a Soldier--
His home, his country, his kin,
Just a common Soldier,
Who would fight until the end.
He was just a common Soldier,
And his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us
We may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict,
We find the Soldier's part
Is to clean up all the troubles
That the politicians start.
If we cannot do him honor
While he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage
At the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline
In a paper that might say:
"OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING, A SOLDIER DIED TODAY
But the freedom that they fought for,
and the country grand they wrought for,
Is their monument to-day, and for aye.
~Thomas Dunn English
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