"Every society needs a cry like that, but only in a very few do they come out with the complete, unvarnished version, which is 'Remember-The-Atrocity-Committed-Against-Us-Last-Time-That-Will-Excuse-The-Atrocity-That-We're-About-To-Commit-Today! And So On! Hurrah!'"
A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away...
(well, actually Texas in 1836) roughly two hundred colonialists stood their ground against an entire army (the mexican one, that is) and did so for almost two straight weeks. William Travis, James Bowie, and Billy Bob Thortonnote
were the three men who orchestrated their defense against the ensuing onslaught of Santa Anna and his men, and since then The Alamo has been a nationally revered moment of American bravery for the entire country, but mostly Texas
Trope-wise, "Remember the Alamo" is a Battle Cry
that memorializes an enemy atrocity and is invoked to galvanize the civilian population into supporting the war effort
. Historically, an alternate title might well be Remember the Maine!
(which incidentally happened over 60 years after
Perhaps a Discredited Trope
in works set in the present day or near future. Subtrope of Shocking Defeat Legacy
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Anime & Manga
- ZAFT soldiers in Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny often reference the Junius Seven tragedy in their war cries.
- Full Metal Panic! uses "Remember Pearl Harbor"- said by the captain of the USS Pasadena. It results in his Japanese-American XO facepalming in despair.
- In the Mass Effect fanfic And The Meek Shall Inherit The Galaxy, the cry of "Remember the Belari!" Is taken up by the combined human-quarian faction in remembrance of the ship that sacrificed itself to save both species' leaders and diplomats from a surprise turian attack.
- In A Thin Veneer, the Odd Name Out among the Gorn ships is the GCF Fires of Regulus, named after the incident that brought the Federation, Klingons and Gorn into the Earth-Minbari War. A group of Minbari destroyed the Federation's colony of Regulus, killing over twenty-five million sentients, including one of the leaders of the Gorn.
- In James Blish's sci-fi Cities in Flight stories, it's "Remember Thor V!"
- V is the Roman numeral 5. Thor V is thus the fifth planet of the Thor system. The organization known as Interstellar Master Traders committed unspecified atrocities there.
- The rallying cry lasted for many decades, if not centuries, due to anti-agathic (anti-aging) drugs.
- Mayor Amalfi of New York City met up with IMT in another galaxy, whence they fled. He shouted this to panic their leaders into an ill-considered act. He's surprised when not only the leader of IMT blanches, but many of his guards as well.
- David Drake and Eric Flint's Belisarius Series.
- Ethiopian warriors shout "Ta'akha Maryam!" when attacking the Malwa forces. The Malwa assassinated the Ethiopian king at Ta'akha Maryam, before war was even declared.
- Persian forces use "Charax!" as a battle-cry, after the Malwa massacred the civilian population of the Persian city of Charax.
- And even more so, after Belisarius's troops take the city back and it's discovered that the civilians that were slaughtered were the lucky ones.
- Discworld - Terry Pratchett translated it as "Remember the atrocities the enemy has done to us, for they will justify the atrocities we are about to commit today" In Discworld, it was usually "Remember Koom Valley!"
- Unusual in that it was invoked equally by both sides of the conflict.
- Because it's the only battle in history where both sides ambushed each other.
- It's also enduringly popular, being used in wars across history and indeed even those nowhere near Koom Valley. This is because the History Monks patched it in all over the place as the 'generic atrocity' when they rebuilt history.
- Made all the more tragic when it's revealed they were there to sign a PEACE TREATY.
- In the Codex Alera series, when the Alerans and their allies are entering a huge fight against the Vord, the rallying cry is simply "Alera!"
- The Fremen saying in the Dune series: never forgive, never forget.
- In The Wheel of Time, many of the main characters are from a town that stands over where the ancient city Manetheren once stood. The city was completely and utterly annihilated and that battle is often recalled to inspire them to continue fighting the enemy Trollocs.
- In Echoes of Honor: the Grayson commander uses "Lady Harrington, and no mercy!"note
- Also from David Weber is A Mighty Fortress, the fourth book of the Safehold series, in which a fleet buying time for what ships can get away uses "Remember King Haarahld" as its battle cry, in memorial of their late king's Heroic Sacrifice.
- The Republic of Siddarmark has "The Pikes of Kolstyr". A piece of music written in memory of an incident where the Desnarian army massacred 90% of a unit of surrendered soldiers (and crippled the remaining 10%), when the Siddarmark army plays it during battle it's a signal that they do not intend to take prisoners.
- The Dresden Files: In Changes, when reinforcements show up at the climax to help out Harry, their leader calls for his men to "Remember Archangel!". It's Ebenezar, leading members of the Grey Council against the Red Court. Archangel is the name of the place where a particularly vicious battle between the White Council and the Red Court took place, resulting in devastating losses for the wizards, including one of the strongest wizards on the Council, member of the Senior Council, and expert on all things vampire all in the same man.
- The cover of an issue of The National Lampoon from the early 1980s featured a picture of the battle captioned, "Remember the Alamo?"
- Parodied in The Far Side: A soldier cries out: "Remember... uh, remember that place in Texas!"
- Also parodied in, of all strips, Steve Canyon: Steve was having a dream, chock-full of anachronisms, about being part of Perry's 1850s expedition to open up Japan. When a quarrel with the local authorities began, he suggested the ambassador say "Remember Pearl Harbor!" as a "So there!" The ambassador used it and then asked Steve, "Where the heck is Pearl Harbor?"
- During the First Succession War of BattleTech's Back Story; the Draconis Combine had the Federated Suns on the brink of defeat. However when their ruler was assassinated by a Sun's sniper on the planet of Kentares IV (as a legitimate military target) his son and successor had 90% of the planet's population, roughly fifty two million people, executed in cold blood. The atrocity rallied the Federated Suns, who used "Remember Kentares!" as a Battle Cry, and cost the Combine its previous gains.
- In System Shock 2 "Remember Citadel", the setting of the first game, is daubed on the walls with blood.
- It's somewhat less of a battle cry and more of a warning that you can't trust Xerxes, the AI that controls the ship. Also an early indicator that SHODAN is the one really pulling the strings.
- The Trope Namer is used in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.
- Parodied in Ty the Tasmanian Tiger with Boss Cass who tries to steal the MacGuffins with a cry of "Remember the Comet!" (referring to the comet that wiped out the dinosaurs).
- In Halo: "Remember where it all began. Remember Reach!"
- Before Reach, it was "Remember Harvest!"
- A variant of this is used by the Terra Firma protesters in the first Mass Effect game, who, at their annual protest, shout "Remember Shanxi!" - Shanxi being the human colony that was almost destroyed by the turians during the First Contact War. Trying to incite aggression towards the turians in this way is in line with their policy of ceasing or at least reducing cooperative relations with the Council races.
- In World of Warcraft: "Remember the Sunwell!"
- Another example from "World of Warcraft" "Remember Theramore" after the aforementioned city is destroyed.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, the passcode to the secret Enclave bunker is "Dear Old Friend, Remember Navarro". This counts as a villainous example, though the Enclave Remnants were Punch Clock Villains at worst.
- The name of the Sons of Korhal resistance group in Starcraft recalls a planet nuked from orbit by the Confederacy they fight again. Their leader, Arcturus Mengsk, is quite fond of pointing out the millions of people killed in his speeches decrying the old regime. (To the point that one of his allies snidely asks if that's "a target number". It isn't — Mengsk has his sights set way higher.)
- Digger: Remember Tunnel 17!
- In Drowtales, the Sharen made a particularly brutal attack against the Sarghress town of Machike. During the battle, the Sharen used forbidden arts and broke their own empire's laws by enslaving neutral commoners. This act finally raised the feud between both clans to open war and created the Sarghress battle cry of "Remember Machike".
- Cale of Looking for Group tried to use one of these as a rousing warcry: "For Gamlon!" Richard ruined his moment when he introduced a far more catchy warcry: "For pony!" Cale's warcry fits this trope; Richard's is about ponies.
- Older Than Steam: Remember remember, the 5th of November in 1605. Only with this one, the violent action was thwarted in the first place.
- During the Texas Revolution in 1836:
- "Remember the Alamo!" - The Mexican Army's massacre of the Texas Revolutionaries after the fall of the Alamo on March 6, during the Texas Revolution.
- "Remember Goliad!" - The Mexican massacre of prisoners at Goliad on March 27 during the Texas Revolution.
- Both of these were used as battle cries during the Texas victory over the Mexican Army at San Jacinto, April 21, 1836, a mere six weeks after the fall of the Alamo.
- "Remember the Maine" - The sinking of the U.S.S. Maine in Havana Harbor in 1898 helped spark the Spanish-American War.
- "Remember the Lusitania!" - the sinking of the British ocean-liner (auxiliary cruiser) in 1915 helped turn world opinion against Germany in World War I. There was considerable controversy – then and now – about whether her sinking was a justified attack on a military vessel, but the battle-cry raised patriotic fervor that made the discussion moot.
- Incidentally, it's accepted knowledge today that the ship was carrying weapons and ammunition; it's just that the passengers didn't know it. Also worth noting, the Germans went so far as to issue an official warning◊ warning American travelers that any ship flying the British flag could be fired upon and sunk. Not that this did much to soften the public's feelings about the deaths of 1,198 passengers and crew aboard the ship, including 128 Americans.
- "Remember Pearl Harbor!". The Japanese attack on the military base at Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941, prompted the USA's entry into WWII. Japan did not formally declare war on the United States until after the attack.
- At Leyte Gulf the American Battle Line contained several battleships that had been salvaged and returned to duty. They destroyed the Japanese in a One Sided Battle at Suriago Strait.
- From Snopes, an example from The War on Terror: 9-11 We Remember.
- The American Revolution: "Give 'em Tarleton's Quarter!", meaning essentially "take no prisoners." This was a reprisal for the killing of continental troops asking for quarter by loyalist soldiers serving under Banastre Tarleton, though the reason the loyalists continued to attack may be because Tarleton's horse was shot out from under him by musket fire, giving the impression that the continentals fired while claiming to surrender.
- A poster produced by the Vichy Regime showed a French sailor sinking beneath the waves with the legend: "N'oubliez pas Oran!" (Don't forget Oran!) This was after the British Royal Navy attacked the now neutral (after the Fall of France during World War 2) French naval base of Mers el Kebir near Oran in Algeria on 3 July 1940.
- A particularly grim example during the Indian Mutiny of 1857 was the battle cry of "Remember Cawnpore". The British East India Company garrison at Cawnpore (now Kanpur) under General Wheeler surrendered to Indian rebels under Nana Sahib on the explicit promise that they would be granted safe passage to Allahabad. Sahib promptly reneged on this promise and massacred virtually all of the British force as they tried to leave the city. More horrific, however, was the subsequent massacre of several hundred women and children at the Bibighar in Cawnpore; when rebel Sepoy troops protested at being ordered to kill women and children, Sahib's advisors simply hired local butchers to finish the job with cleavers and dump the corpses in a well. The massacre outraged many Indians who would otherwise have supported Sahib (it's said the women of his household went on hunger strike in protest), and provoked a series of extremely brutal reprisals from the British.