“These Are the Times That Try Men’s Souls”
It is so damnably cold.”
It is Christmas Day in Northern Pennsylvania. A freezing, exhausted group of men, led by General George Washington, march through an icy, driving rain and snow.
Barely half of them are healthy enough for duty. Hundreds will collapse from sickness and exhaustion as they march through the night.
One third of them don’t have boots. Their rag-wrapped feet literally leave a trail of blood in the Pennsylvania snow.
But on their shoulders literally rests the fate of the Revolution and the Republic.
Their password — “victory or death” — is not symbolism. It is their reality.
And they have a message for those of us living today:
The next time someone tells you we can’t turn America around;
The next time someone tells you we can’t overcome the challenges we face unless we create a “new” America and a new kind of American —
Tell them to read the story of George Washington and his men.
“While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to laud the more distinguished Character of Christian. The signal instances of Providential goodness which we have experienced and which have now almost crowned our labors with complete success demand from us a peculiar manner the warmest returns of gratitude and piety to the Supreme Author of all good.”
— George Washington