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.”
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.