George Washington was born on February 22, 1732, in Westmoreland County, Virginia. He was one of the greatest men to ever have walked the earth, which is why I suggest saying a prayer of thanks this Saturday.
During one battle of the Revolution, at Monmouth in New Jersey, the American troops were in confused flight and on the verge of destruction when General Washington appeared on the field. Soldiers stopped in their tacks and stared as the tall, blue-coated figure spurred his horse up and down the line, halting the retreat. The young Marquis de Lafayette remembered the sight for the rest of his life, how Washington rode “all along the lines amid the shouts of the soldiers, cheering them by his voice and example and restoring to our standard the fortunes of the fight. I thought then, as now, that never had I beheld so superb a man.”
The General turned his army around. The fighting raged until sundown, and that night the British took the chance to slip away. Washington’s very presence had stopped a rout and turned the tide of battle.
It was not the only time. Again and again, Americans turned to Washington. He was, as biographer James Flexner called him, the “indispensable man” of the American founding. Without George Washington, there may never have been a United States. (Bennett, William and Cribb, John. The American Patriot’s Almanac. p.59)
The more I’ve learned about Washington over the years, the more I have come to love him. It’s hard not wonder what it would be like to serve under his command. Whenever I read of the pivotal role Washington played in helping our nation to survive such a fragile moment in its history, I can’t help but think, “There is a man who I would follow into any battle. I would die for that man.”
Think of all the men in your life. How many of them would you follow into battle without question? How many would it be an honor to serve? You could probably count them on one hand.
One day the fate of the nation will hang in the balance, and we will only be able to pray that a man of Washington’s caliber is available to guide us through the ordeal. Until then, take a moment every so often to given thanks for the “indispensable man.”
Related: D.C. goons target Mount Vernon during shutdown — even though it’s privately owned
Editor’s note to regular readers: As some of you may have noticed, I have written less blog posts on contemporary politics as of late. There are quite a few reasons for that, which I’m more than willing to elaborate on in the comments section. However, the long story short is that over the next few months I will probably lean more often on the readily-available wisdom of greater men than I to keep the blog fresh. I will still write on political stories that are front and center in the news cycle, but with less regularly. I’m still trying to find the proper balance, but I think that it this point in history it might be better to reacquaint as many people as possible with our founding fathers instead of the ramblings of modern career politicians.
sorry to hear you’re veering off the current politics discussion as that’s the primary reason I read your blog. I’ll miss the discourse.
Thanks for the comment, Jim. I’ll still be writing on certain news stories that pop up, but this year is going to be rather hectic. I’m helping a friend with a book, I’m writing my own, and I’ll be moving to a new state just to name a few of the things on the docket.
I need to find a way to use my time as efficiently as possible, and part of that process will be posts like this. I think they’re actually rather valuable, but they take me less time than, say, writing up on “politician x” doing/saying the same dumb thing for the 10,000th time. Every time I have to look for the previous time politician “x” stuck his foot in his mouth, it takes time. Depending on how many issues I’m covering in a single blog post, those minutes add up fast.
Some people may have noticed I didn’t cover the State of the Union. I couldn’t do it. I just…couldn’t. How many times has the president said the exact same thing? I felt as though I should write on the SOTU, but at the same time the thought of it just made me cringe. To me, that’s a sign that I need to just walk away from some of this stuff.
Anyway, like I said, I’ll still write on random news stories, but some of my other responsibilities are going to take center stage for the time being.
“A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do…” Lee J. Cobb to Clint Eastwood in “Coogan’s Bluff”
I can understand where you’re coming from. Moving can be quite hectic. I’ve moved twice in my life and it does take up a lot of time. I take it you know for sure where you’re moving now? I remember you saying a while back that it had to do with your wife’s medical residency.
We won’t find out until March 25. One month to go! I can’t wait. There are some huge changes on the horizon. I’m looking forward to seeing what adventures life throws at me next. I’ve spent almost a decade building relationships in Washington, D.C., and now I’ll be starting over from scratch, more or less. That’s one of the reasons I’m working so hard on the book. I want to have that done before the move so I can shop it around. The sooner I could get it published, the better. It would be nice to get the ball moving on that as I touch down in a new location.
It should be exciting. I know you mentioned that you were hoping to end up some place quieter than D.C.
I know we need to study science/computers/finance etc to compete in today’s world; but it’s a shame history isn’t stressed more. I was fortunate to be able to take quite a few elective history classes in college, and as you research deeper past the “highlights” of the general history books; you uncover gems like this and your previous Lincoln post. We can learn a lot from the good-and bad- people that make up our history. Great post!
When I worked as a substitute teacher for a couple years I found it very peculiar how little history is taught. The kids knew next to nothing about any of the positive aspects of our past. It was depressing. It was like, “Hi kids. Slavery. Vietnam. Iraq. Bush sucked. Obama rocks,” from their regular teachers. I remember teaching one class and later when I saw the aide she said something along the lines of how much the kids enjoyed it. Well, the enjoyed it because I was giving them a perspective that they never heard before. “Wait. You mean the U.S. isn’t the worst country in the world and I don’t have to dump on it all the time?” Yes. You can love your country and *gasp* even talk about the way it’s great from time to time.
“Hi, kids. Slavery. Vietnam. Iraq. Bush sucked Obama rocks” is pretty much all my history classes in a nutshell. A few, like world history in 10th grade and U.S. History in 11th, avoided that nonsense, but a lot of them took pains to show how “bad” the U.S. was. It’s like they want to kids to grow up and become America-hating Democrats.
Sadly, Doug, most schools teach their kids the Howard Zinn (an admitted anti-American communist) version of history, which demonizes America and exaggerrates the negatives in our past (as if we’re the only country with skeletons in our closet), while ignoring the many positives.
On a related note, Zinn also tried to make Bartoleme de las Casas out to be some kind of saint for criticizing the enslavement of the Natives but ignored how de las Casas advocated for replacing the Natives with Africans instead. Like most liberals, he invented his own history whenever it suited him and sadly this junk gets taught in schools.