For no really good reason I read the Charge of the Light Brigade every so often. If you knew me in high school that actually might come as a shock — I was in AP English for unknown reasons and hated with a passion every moment of it.

But read it anyway I do.

I made a connection last night. A personal connection.

When we were re-launching the site I felt like the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
   Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
   Rode the six hundred.

Of course I was just one.

Why did they charge ahead to certain doom? Because it was their job to do so. The Lord of Cardigan, their commander, led them into battle.

He led them into the Valley of Death because he himself was ordered to do so. Perhaps incorrect or misleading information led to the order.

Rightly or wrongly the battle commenced.

They fought to their destination then turned back through the valley in retreat once it was determined that the could not hold their position.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
   Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
   Left of six hundred.

Much was written about the battle. Of course Alfred Lord Tennyson penned the famous poem recounting the events of the battle. There were many other accounts written by observers and the men that survived.

C’est magnifique, mais ce n’est pas la guerre.” (“It is magnificent, but it is not war.”)

I feel the same way at this moment. But in a different way.

What if the men didn’t charge but instead marched to the Lord of Cardigan expressing their doubts? Which is more honorable? Or the Lord going to his commander? What would work better for me?

And tomorrow, we retreat to our yacht to have a champaign dinner.

(Ref: Wikipedia article, Full words of the poem)