There Is No Rank in Sacrifice

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There Is No Rank in Sacrifice
by Josephus Daniels
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The story of the deeds of heroism performed by men of the navy in this war will glow with a light that never was on sea or land. Men who live valiantly and die nobly have a strength and a courage from the eternal Father. Two of these young heroes have recently received high honor. One a graduate of Annapolis, the other an enlisted man. There is no rank in sacrifice. Many years ago when the first destroyers were built, they were given the names of John Paul Jones and Perry and Farragut and Decatur. All illustrious names, not born to die. The custom is continued. Two of the latest destroyers were named Cork and Ingram.

The torpedoing of the Jacob Jones gave us more than one naval hero, some of them spared for future achievement. He was game to the last, was the report of the spirit of Lieutenant F. S. Cork. During the early part of the evening, in a weakened condition, this gallant young officer swam through the chilly waters, from one raft to another, in his effort to distribute the weight and make safe the men who had found rescue. Young, without fame, in the hour of dire peril he thought not of himself, but of others. We have given Corky the distinction that goes alone to those who put devotion to duty above love of life. The destroyer Cork, like the useful hero for whom it is named, will be game to the last.

The deed of Osmond J. Ingram ranks with those that gives splendor to our humanity. He was gunners-mate on the intrepid [Cassin]. When the captain, searching for submarines, spied one, he started full speed ahead toward the enemy. Suddenly he cited a torpedo about four hundred yards away. Realizing the situation, the crew captain rang for emergency speed on both engines. In that critical moment an enlisted man of the Navy rose to the heroic demand of the peril. Seeing the torpedo coming toward the stern of the ship where the gun was located, Gunner Ingram, with rare presence of mind, realized the danger if the weapon struck where the ammunition was stored. He speedily ran aft and threw the ammunition into the sea before the torpedo struck. He saved the [Cassin] and the lives of his shipmates. He lost his own life. He was the only man who did not answer to the roll call of the ship, but he answered to the roll call of the immortal, and soon a destroyer bearing his name will proudly sail the seas.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1948, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 60 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.