By Bob Jamison

          It will depend on where you are and what you are doing. Now if you are on your knees considering the thoughts of Calvary that happened on a hill in Jerusalem; you could be overrun by the likes of the cavalry historically led by Black Jack Pershing or George S. Patton.

          The words sound similar without correct pronunciation which is a common mistake among many. But there could never be a more different meaning between the seemingly like words. Cavalry (pronounced cav-AL-ry) can be described as troops on horses or in more modern language, armored vehicles such as tanks and armored personnel carriers equipped for combat.

          On the other hand, Calvary is one of the most meaningful stories of the New Testament. Jesus of Nazareth, a Jewish carpenter brought Christianity into our lives. Of course, Calvary is that fateful day of the death of Jesus as He was nailed to a wooden cross and eventually suffered a lance driven into His side. It was an event that will always be indelible in the minds of millions across the world. The Holy Bible includes in its countless lessons that He died for our sins.

          It seems there might have been a plan of a Higher Source that, though extreme suffering is depicted, the tragedy is all the more real as opposed to His death of another manner. In other words, He tells the world from The Cross the thought of forgiveness when He says, “Forgive them; they know not what they do”.

          That seems very hard to many of our heroes who suffered in the hands of an unscrupulous enemy during wartime. One soldier who endured unbelievable pain in those situations accounts for this very lesson when he said, “My Christian beliefs teaches me to forgive our enemies (trespassers) and I feel I must do that”. But, I won’t soon forget it. 

          Now when it comes to the likes of a ‘bandito’ named Poncho Villa, who led a revolution of his own in is own way, that caused havoc in Mexico and Border States as well; then here comes the cavalry. The president of the United States sent none other that General Pershing to capture Villa and bring him to justice. He wasn’t the only famous soldier in that event. Another was a young lieutenant; fresh out of West Point that began his practical education under fire while riding a cavalry horse. His name was George S. Patton.

          The chase and skirmishes with Villa and his band was fast and frequent. Then Villa would vanish into the hills while living to raid again and again. Finally, Pershing had to tell the president something for his efforts. He sent a telegram to the president that said, “Villa is everywhere and Villa is nowhere”. And they never captured Poncho Villa. He was ‘bargained’ into retirement on a ranch in Mexico. Years later he was ambushed and shot in his automobile by an unknown assailant (s).

          While Pershing went on to fame in the Philippines and in Europe in World War I, Patton achieved amazing feats in many battles of World War II.  The Nazis were known to be terrified of Patton, for a very good reason. When Patton was relieved of his command for slapping a hysterical soldier, the Nazis almost laughed out loud. There was something else going on here that they couldn’t understand, it seems.

          General Eisenhower transferred Patton to England to set up a fake invasion force across the channel from Calais, France. It was made up of inflatable rubber tanks and trucks. Fake radio transmissions were intercepted by the Nazis that would indicate from so much radio traffic about equipment and personnel it obviously had to be led by Patton. Therefore, the invasion would most likely be Calais, they surmised. The effect was essentially a large contingent of Nazi troops and equipment were scattered along the French coast.

          Patton missed D-Day in June l944, much to his chagrin. Afterwards, he was given command of the formidable 3d Army and others that sped across France and Germany to victory.

          That, my dear readers is the difference between Calvary and cavalry. And freedom isn’t free.