On the eve of a far more significant July 4 in 1776, George Washington sat in his New York headquarters, preparing to defend Manhattan from the British. He contemplated what lay ahead as word circulated that the Continental Congress had formally adopted a Declaration of Independence, a momentous step toward establishing a new nation.
Washington took to his diary to consider the gravity of the moment:
“The time is now near at hand,” he wrote, “which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be Freemen or Slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their Houses, and Farms, are to be pillaged and destroyed, and they consigned to a State of Wretchedness from which no human efforts will probably deliver them.”
“Our own Country's Honor, all call upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world.”
“Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and show the whole world, that a Freeman contending for Liberty on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.”
In triumph and in tragedy we stand united and defiant in the face of any who would challenge our commitment to our freedom and the future of our country.
Happy Independence Day
UPDATE: Welcome readers of The Pirate’s Cove. We thank the Admiral for the linky-love.