I also thought of my late friend Laurie Poole Musgrove Cormack. Let me take you back to November, 1996. The place? Johannesburg, South Africa. The television was on M-Net and the Rugby match between the South African team the Springboks and Argentina was coming on from Buenos Aires. (We probably would have been at the game if it was in Johannesburg).
For my United States audience this is big stuff. Probably not as much of a television audience as the World Cup Final for Soccer or the Super Bowl for American football, but it was still big.
Laurie told me her brother played Rugby and coached one of the Springbok players, in Natal Province. (Now, KwaZulu Natal). This is major.
You realize just HOW major when the broadcast begins with a picture of Winston Churchill and a tape of his speech, We shall Fight Them on The Beaches. Here is the speech in full, thanks to Wikipedia with Churchill’s crack at the end.
Turning once again, and this time more generally, to the question of invasion, I would observe that there has never been a period in all these long centuries of which we boast when an absolute guarantee against invasion, still less against serious raids, could have been given to our people. In the days of Napoleon, of which I was speaking just now, the same wind which would have carried his transports across the Channel might have driven away the blockading fleet. There was always the chance, and it is that chance which has excited and befooled the imaginations of many Continental tyrants. Many are the tales that are told. We are assured that novel methods will be adopted, and when we see the originality of malice, the ingenuity of aggression, which our enemy displays, we may certainly prepare ourselves for every kind of novel stratagem and every kind of brutal and treacherous manœuvre. I think that no idea is so outlandish that it should not be considered and viewed with a searching, but at the same time, I hope, with a steady eye. We must never forget the solid assurances of sea power and those which belong to air power if it can be locally exercised.
I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once more able to defend our island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty’s Government — every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation. The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength.
Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.
It is said that as the House of Commons thundered in an uproar at his stirring rhetoric, Churchill muttered in a whispered aside to a colleague, “And we’ll fight them with the butt ends of broken beer bottles because that’s bloody well all we’ve got!” 
You get the idea. I remember the Falklands War. This is serious business. I expected Laurie to burst into Fi Fi Fo Fum, I smell the blood of an Argentine.
You would have thought Laurie was coaching them through the television set, goading them on, telling them how disappointed she was with certain players. It added a whole other element to this. One Springboks player stepped on an Argentine players head. “Surely that’s a foul, even in Rugby!” And you thought American Football was dangerous. Then again, the Irish sport of Hurling is homicide with sticks. 🙂
Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina.
- You: Pope Francis: role during Argentina’s military era disputed (guardian.co.uk)
- Habemus Papam! New pope is Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina; Reaction rolls in [pics]; Update: Pope Francis I (twitchy.com)