Welcome to Pride in America Month. Every day in the month of June and through Independence Day, we will be highlighting a figure who has demonstrated and defended American values. Consider it a healthy alternative to the Left's June celebration that has taken over the media and corporate America.
In the annals of human history, a select few rise head and shoulders above their peers. These men single-handedly changed the course of history, and the United States was blessed to have one of these men at her very birth.
Up until the War for Independence, George Washington was fairly unremarkable. The eldest son of a wealthy Virginia planter, Washington worked as a surveyor, as a planter, and served in a militia unit that fought with the British Army in the French and Indian War. He traveled to Philadelphia at the outbreak of the Revolution in 1775 and was made commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.
Every schoolchild knows the stories of Washington’s valor during the American Revolution. His victories at Boston and Trenton are heroic tales, but his defeat at Long Island is perhaps an even greater story. Faced with overwhelming odds, Washington began an orderly retreat, keeping his army intact as they withdrew over the Hudson River. In the hands of a lesser general, this retreat might have become a rout, and the Revolution would have never gotten off the ground.
After independence, Washington could have seized as much power as he wanted. Yet, like the Roman statesman Cincinattus, he retired to private life once more. That was not the end of his story. When it was clear that the Articles of Confederation had failed to create a stable government, Washington returned to preside over the Constitutional Convention. When it came time to choose the first president of the United States, Washington was elected unanimously.
Once again, George Washington stood on the brink of absolute power. Had he decided to run for a third term in 1796 he would have established the precedent that presidents serve for life. Yet he once again retired, allowing new leaders to rise. In his farewell address, he cautioned his successors against excessive partisanship or entangling foreign alliances, lessons that we have forgotten today.
What else can we say about the father of our country? “Light Horse Harry” Lee, Washington’s friend and fellow soldier (and father of Robert E. Lee) said it best in his eulogy: “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”
America was lucky to have such a singular man guiding the ship in those early days, and we will be lucky to see such a man again.
Do you have a great American who deserves to be celebrated this month? Let us know!
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