Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Friday, November 11, 2005

On the U.S. Marines and All Veterans

(A letter to Al Martinez, columnist extraordinaire with the Los Angeles Times on the occasion of the birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps and Veterans Day.)

Happy Belated Birthday Al,

Sorry, I forgot your second birthday yesterday. Or if you are a U. S. Marine, does Nov 10th. become your first birthday? As the Marines say, “Oorah!” Not having been a U.S. Marine, I’ve probably just gotten myself into trouble by using that honored term. Actually, did you know that the term “Oorah” is attributed to the Corps’ 1st Amphibious Reconnaissance Company, FMFPAC, in 1953 just after the Korean War? Go here for the interesting history of the term.

Several apocryphal origins of "Oorah!" exist. One has it that the term is Turkish for "Kill". How a Turkish word entered the Marine Corps is not typically explained. In fact, the Turkish word for "kill" is "öldürmek". However, the Russian battlecry of "Urrah!" can supposedly be traced to the Turkish word for "Kill."

Anyway, today is Veterans Day and so I thank you for your contribution to the world. There are still many Koreans who are beholding to you and honor what you and so many others did for them. Without the contributions of so many U.S. Veterans, I might have been writing these greetings to you in German, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Russian or now Arabic or Urdu. Actually, if my father had died on one of those European battle fields on which he trudged, I would not be writing this to you at all. Thank you Al and Dad, and Happy Birthday Al.

Your Friend,