Episode 95: Something Is Missing

Episode 95: Something Is Missing


Hey guys, how are you me? Oh, I’m great. I just had a birthday as many of you know, you wished me Happy Birthday many times over on my Facebook page and I I want to say thank you for that. It’s funny I don’t know what’s going on with Facebook. There’s something in their settings that I can’t change, that alerts everybody on my page that every day is my birthday. So for the last year, I’ve been getting birthday wishes every day, which is nice. It’s just nicer when it’s actually your your birthday. So thank you for remembering me on the 18th of March. I have a story I want to share with you. Briefly though first – our Work Ethic Scholarship is wrapping up on the 28th of March. If you haven’t applied yet this would be the time to do it. Go over to mikeroweWORKS.org/scholarship, we have seven hundred thousand dollars. We’re trying to give away to people who demonstrate the sort of work ethic we’re attempting to reward. Gotta sign the S.W.EA.T. Pledge, make a case for yourself, submit some references, write a little essay. But, the program has been working. We’ve given away over five million dollars so far and now ZipRecruiter has built out this website in a way that allows us to show you just how much opportunity exists in the skilled trades. We have thousands of open positions listed right now, many of which pay six figures. Thousands of them. They’re right there. So you can apply, get your scholarship, training, get your job. Okay, give that a shot, and seriously ZipRecruiter thank you so much for making that happen and for sponsoring this podcast. I use ZipRecruiter. I’ve used them for a couple of years. If you have a job in your company you’re struggling to fill post the job for free on ZipRecruiter.com/ROWE and watch what happens. 80% of people who post a job at ZipRecruiter.com/ROWE get a quality candidate in 24 hours. They really work. They’ve done right by my website and by our Work Ethic Scholarship Program. So here’s a little story for you. It’s called, “Something is Missing.” Good luck figuring that out. This is The Way I Heard It. A young officer in a pivotal battle -exasperated by the indecision of his own general takes matters into his own hands. Leaping astride his trusty steed, he gallops to the front of the line to rally the troops. From the back of his horse he laughs at the enemy, ignores the bullets that fly past his head, and addresses the men like Henry V at Agincourt. According to the many first-hand accounts, it was the kind of moment that inspires a statue. ‘He was suddenly in the front of the line,” said one soldier. “his eyes flashing, pointing with his saber to the advancing foe, with a voice that rang clear as a trumpet.” “He came from nowhere,” said another, “and electrified the men. He simply willed us to follow him, and so we did.” In a totally audacious maneuver, the young officer led 3,000 men straight into the flank of a superior foe, scattering the enemy and allowing his general to simply march his remaining force straight across the battlefield and win the day. But alas, Something was missing. Namely, the general and his remaining force. Incredibly the general was so worried about who would get the credit for such a decisive victory he chose not to advance, and settled for a draw. In the official battle report the general acknowledged the gallantry of those 3,000 soldiers, but again… something was missing. The name of the brave young officer who led the charge. Three weeks later, when both sides clashed again on the same bloody fields, it was deja vu all over again. At the pivotal moment, the general hesitates, and once again the ambitious young officer leaps upon his trusty steed and rides to the front lines – this time in direct defiance of his furious commander. When he reaches the front line, he rears his horse back and shouts to the troops once again. “Hello, old friends! So good to see you again. What say you? Shall we win the day once and for all? Shall we send these bastards back across the sea?? In the movie version, this is where the slow motion would begin. The cacophony of battle drops away, replaced by soaring strings. Musket balls and grapeshot whir past our hero’s head as a junior officer falls in a bloody heap beside him. The strings fade as we hear his pumping heart and labored breath. Close-up on his left leg. The same leg that was twice wounded in earlier battles. A musket ball Lodges deep in his thigh his temples pound as the white-hot pain cascades through his body. But still, our hero rides on. Another musket crack and all is silent, as a gaping wound on his horse’s neck spews a crimson river. The great beast howls, rears back and collapses on top of our hero, shattering his already wounded leg, and crushing the life from his heroic soul. There are moments that turn the tide of every battle. And battles, that turn the tide of every war. And wars, that turned the tide of human history. This was one of those moments, in one of those battles, in one of those wars. Like the Battle of Hastings in 1066 when William conquered England. Like the Battle of Orleans in 1429 when Joan of Arc saved France. Like D-Day in 1944, when Eisenhower directed the Allied Advance into Normandy. The heroes of those battles were recognized for their valor. One became a king. One a saint. One a president. And all received statues that endure to this day. So too, did the young officer with the shattered leg who lay beneath his horse two hundred and forty years ago. Indeed on that very spot on this very day, you can still see the monument to our hero, erected a hundred years after his glorious charge, carved in granite to last through the ages. The inscription on the back spells out the magnitude of his contribution: “In memory of the most brilliant soldier in the Continental Army who was desperately wounded on this spot… winning for his countrymen the decisive battle of the American Revolution.” High praise. And yet, it is curious – if you visit this monument for yourself, you might notice that something is missing. Consider: After Joan of Arc died, she got a golden statue in the center of Paris. Her left hand holds the reins of a dashing steed. Her right hand lifts a flag in triumph. Her steadfast gaze forever looks out over the Palais Royale. William the Conqueror lives on in carved stone, astride his rearing horse. His right arm raises his standard in triumph. His steadfast gaze forever locked on the kingdom he once ruled. Today, Dwight D. Eisenhower – thanks to a remarkable likeness in bronze – is alive and well in Normandy. His familiar hat sits atop his rugged face. And his steadfast gaze is still trained across the fields of France. And then you realize – that’s what’s missing from this particular monument – the hero’s gaze. His eyes are not overlooking the Hudson Valley in triumph as you might expect them to, because his statue has no head. His left hand is not holding the reins of his trusty steed, and his right hand is not pointing his gleaming saber toward the enemy, because his statue has no arms. A closer inspection reveals that something else is missing, too – specifically shoulders, hips, torso, along with a conspicuous lack of legs. Even his trusty steed to which you might expect to find the aforementioned reins attached is nowhere to be seen. Indeed, there is nothing to this monument but a single left boot, draped unceremoniously over the muzzle of a cannon pointed toward the heavens. And then you understand why. The young officer memorialized in such a strange fashion, did in fact fall on that very spot on that fateful day, but he neglected to do the one thing that would have made him beloved for all time – he neglected to die. It’s a pity. Had he simply bled to death in the mud underneath his horse and the horrible stink of that pivotal battle, he’d have cities and schools named in his honor today. Along with a proper statue that includes his horse, his saber, and all the usual body parts. But alas, our hero not only survived the battle he refused to let the surgeons amputate his ruined limb. His ego would not permit it. Thus, he spent the rest of his life in constant pain hobbling around on a left leg three inches shorter than his right, while completely neglecting the less obvious injury – the injury that festered in ways no doctor could treat. The injury to his pride. You may not remember Horatio Gate,s the indecisive American General who squandered multiple opportunities to defeat the British at Saratoga. But I bet you remember the name of his young officer – the officer whose bold action won that decisive battle and convinced the French to enter the war on the side of the Americans – a decision that would change the course of history and turn 13 unruly colonies into 13 United States. Who knows? Maybe had General Gates simply acknowledged the uncommon valor of his subordinate, rather than hoard all the credit for himself, our hero might have remained true to the country he served and be remembered today for the hero he clearly he was on that particular day, Instead… he got The Boot – the only monument where everything is missing including the name of the honoree. In this case, the name of a gallant young officer whose courage helped free a nation, but whose wounded pride would ultimately turn him and his once good name into the very definition of betrayal – Benedict Arnold. Anyway…that the way I heard it.

80 thoughts on “Episode 95: Something Is Missing

  1. I wish I could meet you one day! I loved watching you growing up, sitting on the couch with my dad watching Dirty Jobs. You are a great man, and a wise one too. Thank you for providing real and truthful entertainment!

  2. Howard Lowes 2 hour podcast was fantastic, and happy birthday, a woman was just saying about greased palms to get their kids in college and titles and jobs not earned, while normal folk struggle and are overlooked while she is still paying off her student loans for her college degrees that she never uses while trying to raise a responsible family and children (her self proclaimed job) and was very upset by this palm greasing and all the others qualified on merit alone losing out, besides how many degrees and titles with zero skills, the gap is getting bigger .. keep doing what you do for so many years and thank you so much for taking us along

  3. Happy Birthday Mike! My birthday is this month as well – but on the back end of March – LOL. Only I never get B-day wishes. Yes, I feel sorry for me, no one else will. Hahahaha.

  4. Happy Belated Birthday Mike, it's time to come back to Hot Springs National Park for the world's shortest Mike Rowe Day Parade, it was a delight meeting you in the stairwell at the embassy suites heading towards roof access #maintenance is a dirty job tooπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  5. Oddly we find ourselves again at the pivotal point in an ungoing battle, I love at least in my perspective how you Draw parallels in the metaphorical sense to timely and poignant issues…. My newest work seems to in some way compliment the ongoing struggle….

    https://youtu.be/bWdFaiTAAd4

  6. Well that will teach all you average people that you mean nothing in America. It sure as hall wasn't Eisenhower who took Normandy. It was his men that took Normandy. But who's statue is there on the beach? Eisenhower. So the next war we get into wait for the General to stand at the front lines in front to lead that charge, because he is the only one that will get a statue in the end. At least that is what I get out of this.

  7. Mike, HAPPY Belated Birthday. I hope you continue doing the way I heard it. You sir are such a wonderful storyteller. I can see the whole event taking place in my mind. Thank you again.

  8. First, happy late birthday Mike, and this was excellent as always. Second, I'm sorry to say, I twigged this one in the first seconds, but I'm a history major/teacher, and of course, as I love Military History, the Revolutionary War is something I've studied a lot! I was thinking about General Gates in the first telling of the charge where he took the draw, and new it for sure shortly after. Third, excellent as always, keep'em coming!

  9. Happy Birthday Mike. Mine was Ides of March, 15th. Bad day for Caesar, better one for me. Love ya. Blessings..☺❀

  10. Happy 57th Birthday Mike, a few days belated but Facebook isn't my thing. Very interesting story about Benedict Arnold, one I never knew before, thanks for sharing your most excellent telling of it.

  11. Great story! I never knew he was such a hero. I only ever heard about how he was pushed to the sidelines time and time again. And how his ego eventually led him to treason.

  12. Good story! Many people don't realize Benedict Arnold was an American hero, before he was a traitor. I know I didn't until reading a biography on him several years ago. πŸ™‚

  13. Why can't this information be taught in school. All I knew up to this point about Benedict Arnold was he was treasonous at some point in the war.

  14. Hay mike I'm looking for a job I'm a carpenter for 23 years trying to get my own thing going . also fell tree's and make mantles and tablets out of the good ones . I'm in Illnoise close to Wisconsin .

  15. Granny Gates had an ego like Mac Arthur. He wanted Washington's job so that he could lose the war. Typical English aristocracy type.

  16. …cause we all know people who graduate from a four year college are lazy and have no work ethic. And those people with graduate degrees? Oh lord, they're the laziest. You should hear them bitch and moan after four back to back to back to back 12 hour shifts in a large hospital and emergency room.

    Plugs are still hanging in there, good for them.

  17. Just say no – to F'book. Grownups unite!
    Your stories are great. I like guessing who the subject is. Bring back the dog.

  18. A very enlightening and historical reference. Unfortunately also true. I love your original shows, very real. Recently I have come across the sweat pledge, your interviews, and even your testimonies in Washington and other notable venues. I have been in law enforcement for 20 years, 9 years in the SCANG, and a year long deployment overseas. This is not bragging for I started both in and during college in temp and full time jobs in plants and factories. I earned my callouses. Even had a lawn service in my neighborhood at the age of 14-16. It is my LE experience that has opened my eyes up to what you dedicate yourself to preventing and promoting. In the past several months I have gained a profound and newfound respect for what you do every day. This country needs more of ………..YOU and the people you inspire. Thank you Mike.

  19. Happy Birthday again??!! March 16 here. Oh yeah, my relative is Arron Burr. Not sure how to feel about that.

  20. That's the 1st episode I guessed right, only because I had just read up on the American Revolution. Good stuff, Mike, keep um coming!

  21. Have been a fan of yours for quite sometime now… Sent a message through Ziprecuiter, and not sure if you read these messages but I would greatly appreciate a moment of your time.

  22. I have a feeling you will be trying to improve this country right up until the last breath you take. I salute you and your efforts.

    PS: Happy belated birthday.

  23. yES.. something is missing ! I have been subscribed to your channel since April 2019. No I have not yet gotten a new video notice as yet. I had to search Youtube to see why.. and found this. Mike… look into youtube subscription program please. Thanks for all your great efforts to help those in need !

  24. Forgive me for saying this but, I prefer the informal nature of your earlier video recordings, you in your kitchen, with a cup of coffee, and seeing Fred, or your Mom. The spotlight stage production, not so much. Missing the β€˜realness’.

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