Remembering the Words of a Hero

Colonel Ripley with his wife Moline on the evening he received his Navy Cross during the Marine Corps Evening Parade. (Department of Defense photo)

When I read the January 9th New York Times article “Pentagon Allows Women Closer to Combat, but Not Close Enough for Some” by  Elisabeth Bumiller I could not help recall what the late Col. John Ripley had to say on the matter. His primary reason for opposing such a measure was his noble desire to protect “womanhood and femininity.” He also pointed out, in his testimony on the subject, that it was a “pathetically few who strive to gain higher command,” that speak most loudly about the matter because they, “feel that they must have served in a combat unit to achieve command, or perhaps higher rank”. This just happened to be the reason given, in the NY Times article mentioned above, for this next step towards woman serving in combat. “Serving in jobs like the infantry,” the Times article points out, “remains crucial to career advancement in the military, and critics of the current policy say that by not recognizing women’s real role in combat, women are unfairly held back.”

So now we are one step closer to our sisters, our daughters, our mothers being sent off into, what Col. Ripley so aptly described as, “the stinking filth of ground combat… If you think women have a so-to-speak right to grovel in this filth,” the late Colonel said in his testimony, “to live in it just because someone above them, senior to them, wants to be promoted, then, my God, what has happened to the American character and the classical idea, western idea, of womanhood?”

Chivalry, contrary to what many might think, is not dead. Thank God for a man like Col. John Ripley who lived by principle and did not stop being an officer and a gentleman when so many others around him did.




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1 comment

  1. Walter Camier’s avatar

    Excellent point and a very timely article. Many people are starting to see the damage society suffers when women in the society try to become something they are not meant to be.
    In his study on American Democracy Alex de Tocqueville said, “It is the dissimilarities and inequalities among men and women which give rise to the notion of honor in America if such differences become less, it will grow feeble; and when they disappear, the notion of honor in America will vanish too.”

    This is what is starting to happen in America, look at all the criminal acts committed against women today. Men loose respect for women when they blur the differences between male and female. I think this also contributes to the reason for the increased amount of homosexuality in both sexes today!!!!!

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