As a young man I was fascinated by a tale from ancient Roman history that told of a warrior whose courage was beyond all reason, yet was inspirational as an ideal worth trying to live up to. It is a story, often recounted by Roman authors and later preserved for English literature in a poem by Lord Macaulay that tells us of an Etruscan army marching on Rome, headed for a bridge across the Tiber River that, unless destroyed, would give the enemy access to the capital city itself.
Their van will be upon us
Before the bridge goes down;
And if they once may win the bridge,
What hope to save the town?
But a Roman soldier named Horatius stood before the advancing enemy army, displaying a defiant courage that made a deep impression on me in my formative years.