Horatius Cocles: The Hero at the Bridge

One Man’s Valor Forever Remembered

In 509 B.C. an army marched against Rome from Etruscia. When the army got to the bridge separating them from the city, Horatius Cocles, a Roman officer, planted himself on the narrow bridge to give time to the sappers to destroy the bridge behind him. He and two companions held off the attacking army long enough for the bridge to be destroyed, piling the bodies of the men they killed into a berm to keep from being shot with arrows and spears. Wounded, Horatius held the bridge long enough to save the town. The attacking army eventually negotiated a peace treaty and Rome was saved from certain ruin. Disabled by the fight, Horatius was put in a position of honor and given Veteran benefits. The 2013 movie “Oblivion” mentions Horatius from the book “Lays of Ancient Rome” by Thomas Macaulay :

“To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his gods,”
2500 years later the Valor of Horatius Cocles lives on. Valor is in you. Set it free.

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