The Spartan helmet is known as a symbol of WARRIOR strength, loyalty, courage, honor, and power. Dedicated to war, Spartans were known for their legendary physical and mental strength and their intense dedication to the defense of their city. Their enemies feared the sight of Spartan warriors, shields raised, lances ready, and their helmets gleaming. Sparta was strong and her men gladly laid down their lives to defend her.
The Spartan helmet is rightly one of the most iconic symbols of ancient Greece. Made to cover the entire head, leaving a T-shaped opening for the eyes, nose, and mouth, the helmet struck fear into enemies and inspired pride in follow compatriots. While Spartan men and women dressed simply, they had true affinity for the color of deep crimson red. This color of war was the least feminine of the colors and disguised their wounds in battle so as not to give away any weakness to their enemies.
Like the Spartan, a cancer WARRIOR shares many of those same traits and attributes. When you face cancer head on you show the world that you have the power and determination to conquer the obstacles one faces each and every day fighting for your life!
The American Cancer Fighter chose the Spartan helmet as a symbol to reflect the WARRIOR spirit we feel is in every cancer FIGHTER. We pledge our undying support to all who are in the fight against cancer. For those feeling discouraged, we are committed to stand by your side as you march toward your goal to defeat cancer and claim victory. It is also our duty to show appreciation for our military service members, veterans, and first responders who serve us daily. At the same time, reflecting the pride and honor we have for being an American. Like the ancient Spartans we want every cancer WARRIOR to feel fearless and unafraid to face the enemy.
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In 480 B.C., King Leonidas of Sparta, led a small band of 300 of these exceptional soldiers, along with other Greeks, against a massive army of Persians at the Battle of Thermopylae. The band of some 7,000 Greeks held the Persians back at the narrow coastal pass of Thermopylae for seven days, three of which included fierce battle. Though ultimately defeated, the Spartans inflicted casualties of 20,000 to the Persian army, which modern scholars estimate to have been 120,00-300,000 strong, though a few ancient historians’ number the Persian troops in the millions. Although defeated, the Battle of Thermopylae served as a moral victory, one that inspired the Greeks later at the Battle of Salamis.
The Battle of Thermopylae, and the fierce loyalty of the small band of Spartan warriors to their leader, King Leonidas, proves even today that free men who resolve to great sacrifice to preserve liberty can accomplish great feats against a mighty enemy. Although defeated at Thermopylae, the Greeks subsequently halted the Persian approach at the Battle of Salamis, forcing them to retreat. The Greeks, once led by the fearless Leonidas, prevailed against the Persian invasion.
In his book, “Gates of Fire,” Steven Pressfield writes these words of King Leonidas:
“But by our deaths here with honor, in the face of these insuperable odds, we transform vanquishment into victory. With our lives we sow courage in the hearts of our allies and the brothers of our armies left behind. They are the ones who will ultimately produce victory, not us. It was never in the stars for us. Our role today is what we all knew it was when we embraced our wives and children and turned our feet upon the march-out: to stand and die. That we have sworn and that we will perform.”
King Leonidas inspired his men to stand strong and be fearless in the face of opposition. When Xerxes I of Persia told the Spartans to lay down their arms and surrender, King Leonidas replied, “Molon Labe,” which means, “Come and take them.”
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