Playful, Pius or Remembered Stuff

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy birthday, America

The Moore home in Jamestown

It had to be the hand of God else we would have never made it. When I read McCullough's "1776" I was on the edge of my chair (figuratively at least). There was a time when I was certain the Patriots had no way they could win. British troops were more experienced and outnumbered us. We lost ground again and battle after battle until Washington crossed the Delaware and surprised the celebrating Hessians at Trenton.

When Patrick Henry et al. signed the Declaration of Independence, they were sticking their heads in a noose. That was an act of treason! The Brits had barricaded New York harbor, and there was a time the Continental Congress had to move from Philadelphia for fear of capture.

I'm afraid I would have been a loyalist instead of a Patriot. I would have felt constrained by Romans 13 to submit to the powers that be (Britain) and take my lumps (taxes).

Washington must have been quite a man. Where ever he rode through his troops he stirred up courage and loyalty among them. When it came time to elect a president of this upstart nation, he was the unanimous choice of every party. Northerners and Virginians (southerners) didn't understand or trust one another, even then. But everyone seemed to agree on Washington (even though he was a Virginian). He also had a way of charming the ladies at a banquet or a ball. Men, women, northerners and southerners all considered him a man of integrity in leadership.

Then there was the special appeal of old Ben Franklin. I understand he had quite a way with the ladies as well. But it was the unusual esteem of the French for Franklin the inventor that helped encourage the French to help us fend off the British and win our independence. They thought Franklin to be a genius because of his experiments with electricity. Franklin and John Adams were very different in character. Adams was a no-nonsense negotiator with strictly business on his mind, when they were an emissary to court the French. He was a prig. Franklin was more amiable, liked to party and knew when to drop a word appropriately.

On our trip east we saw the Moore home, the place where Cornwallis surrendered to Washington. We were told that Cornwallis refused to deal with these rebel British subjects, and sent a representative while he stayed in his quarters, ostensibly feeling ill.

Such little pieces of providence fit into the time line along the way. Coincidences and finesse along with courage and determination not to let this nation across the Atlantic to "tread on me". There are men to thank for our freedom to be sure, but those who are alert to the details of history must ultimately thank God. I'm proud to be an American. Happy birthday, America!

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