I am blogging now from the “Wireless Hotspot” at what I believe is the former Pan Am terminal at JFK. I had an absolutely amazing flight on Jet Blue, flying out of Burbank instead of the ever-congested LAX. Not only were JetBlue staff friendly and courteous, not only were the seats more comfortable than on most airlines, but the airline provided DirectTV (with private screens for each passenger) and as I headed east, I chanced upon the History Channel‘s multi-part documentary, The American Revolution which kept me occupied for the better part of the flight.
Once again, I was reminded of the greatness of George Washington, how his clever tactics helped him lead the first patriots to victory against great odds. How he knew when to retreat to protect his troops, how he suffered the treason of a once-trusted colleague, Benedict Arnold, and how he rallied the troops at the end of the war. It?s a shame that American students are learning less and less about this great man. And I?m grateful for this excellent documentary which reminded me of his character and his many accomplishments.
Patriot that I am, I teared up as I learned once again of the victory at Yorktown in 1781 when the defeated British General Charles Cornwallis was too ashamed to face defeat and so had his second-in-command Charles O’Hara attempt to surrender to the French General Comte de Rochambeau. But, that good Frenchman (the type of French men of whom we would like to see more) directed the defeated general’s assistant to surrender to General Washington who, in turn, had him surrender to his second-in-command Major General Benjamin Lincoln, who had surrendered Charleston to the British just over a year previously.
What a great way to begin the July the 4th weekend, to be reminded of the greatness of the first American patriots. And not just George Washington, men whose names, alas, are not familiar to many Americans who enjoy the freedoms for which they sacrificed much. Some of these men gave their lives while others watched friends and fellow patriots die around them as they fought against tyranny more than two centuries ago. So, here’s to those great patriots, men like Horatio Gates, Nathanael Green, Daniel Morgan, Paul Revere, William Washington and many others who fought for our freedom. Not to mention those whom we already honor. Their courage, their sacrifice, their accomplishments helped us win our independence and laid for the groundwork for the greatness the nation they founded would later achieve.
And here?s to the History Channel for putting together such a fine documentary and to JetBlue to provide the in-flight TV service so that I could be reminded of our founding patriots as I head east to celebrate my mother?s birthday and our nation?s independence with the PatriotFamilyWest.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com