Thursday, July 4, 2024

Happy July 4th America 🇺🇸

 


One of the finest days in American history was the day freedom was born and independence declared, July 4, 1776.  


Historians like David McCullough would write about it with awe.  


Why?


Because the road to freedom was super difficult and a near-impossible amazing journey of resilience, bravery, and sacrifice.


And if we look through the pages of history, at what transpired during those early days, we would find leaders, like George Washington bravely facing the unknown and the near-impossible fight for freedom so daunting most men and women would have bowed down within that first mile.


“By the time Washington started his long retreat across New Jersey, they were down to only a few thousand men. 


Probably a quarter of the army were too sick to fight, victims of smallpox, typhoid, typhus, and, worst of all, camp fever, or epidemic dysentery. 


Men deserted, men defected—went over to the enemy by the hundreds. 


Or they just disappeared, they just went away, never heard from again. 


By the time Washington was halfway across New Jersey, he had all of 3,000 men.”*



Yet, somehow George Washington persisted.  


He managed to inspire his men with the will to go on and keep fighting for freedom in a seemingly impossible war against a king and country that was considered a superpower of that Age.


“Every soldier, because of the system at the time, was free to go home as of the first day of January 1777. 


Washington called a large part of the troops out into formation. He appeared in front of these ragged men on his horse, and he urged them to reenlist. He said that if they would sign up for another six months, he’d give them a bonus of 10 dollars. 


It was an enormous amount then because that’s about what they were being paid for a month—if and when they could get paid. These were men who were desperate for pay of any kind. Their families were starving.


The drums rolled, and he asked those who would stay on to step forward. The drums kept rolling, and nobody stepped forward. 


Washington turned and rode away from them. Then he stopped, and he turned back and rode up to them again. 


This is what we know he said:


My brave fellows, you have done all I asked you to do, and more than could be reasonably expected, but your country is at stake, your wives, your houses, and all that you hold dear. 


You have worn yourselves out with fatigues and hardships, but we know not how to spare you. 


If you will consent to stay one month longer, you will render that service to the cause of liberty, and to your country, which you can probably never do under any other circumstance.


Again the drums rolled. This time the men began stepping forward. “God Almighty,” wrote Nathanael Greene, “inclined their hearts to listen to the proposal and they engaged anew.”


Now that is an amazing scene, to say the least, and it’s real… It was as if he was saying, “You are fortunate. You have a chance to serve your country in a way that nobody else is going to be able to, and everybody else is going to be jealous of you, and you will count this the most important decision and the most valuable service of your lives.” *


Yet this amazing scene, one of many, was not the scene which made Washington the greatest man in the world of his Age.  


“Washington, the political general, had never forgotten that Congress was the boss. 


When the war was at last over, Washington, in one of the most important events in our entire history, turned back his command to Congress


—a scene portrayed in a magnificent painting by John Trumbull that hangs in the rotunda of our national Capitol. 


When George III heard that George Washington might do this, he said that “if he does, he will be the greatest man in the world.”*



Our freedom and independence would not be possible without heroes like George Washington knowing the difference between service to the country and self-service to autocratic power and greed. 



As we celebrate Independence Day, let us remember the spirit of service and sacrifice given on these battlefields for freedom, and ensure that our hard-won independence and freedom from tyranny continue to ring for our children and future generations.


Today let's engage anew those in hate and hypocrisy that would tear down and apart our Republic and democracy, and let freedom ring ever after.





*

https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/david-mccullough/glorious-cause-america/




Why have standards fallen so low? Where is the sense of honor and duty? There is no win or salvation in the shame of dishonor and indecency....