links::uplifting | Tuesday, Nov 9th 2004, 11:43:14 AM
This is one of my favorite "feel good" stories, though I guess it's not really a feel good story.
Horror gripped the heart of the World War I soldier as he saw his lifelong friend fall in battle. Caught in a trench with continuous gunfire whizzing over his head, the soldier asked his lieutenant if he might go out into the "No Man's Land" between the trenches to bring his fallen comrade back.
"You can go," said the Lieutenant, "but I don't think it will be worth it. Your friend is probably dead and you may throw your own life away." The Lieutenant's words didn't matter, and the soldier went anyway.
Miraculously he managed to reach his friend, hoist him onto his shoulder, and bring him back to their company's trench. As the two of them tumbled in together to the bottom of the trench, the officer checked the wounded soldier, then looked kindly at his friend.
"I told you it wouldn't be worth it," he said. "Your friend is dead, and you are mortally wounded."
"It was worth it, though, sir," the soldier said.
"How do you mean, `worth it?Ž" responded the Lieutenant. "Your friend is dead!"
"Yes sir," the private answered. "But it was worth it because when I got to him, he was still alive, and I had the satisfaction of hearing him say, `Jim, I knew youŽd come.Ž"