When a friend questioned why we honored the military on July 4 when the day was about “about US independence and the wonderful aspects of the American experiment,” I replied:
Well, without the military, there’s be no US independence nor any American experiment for that matter. Remember, he was General Washington before he was President Washington. It was his success on the battlefield that made him first in war so he could later become both first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen.
The martial leadership that General Washington showed, both in achieving the victories which followed the crossing depicted above and in managing the defeats his armies faced against a better equipped and trained military than his rag-tag militia not only earned him the acclaim he enjoyed among his compatriots, but also allowed our nation to fulfill the promise that Thomas Jefferson so beautifully articulated in the Declaration of Independence, the promise Mr. Jefferson’s fellows in the Continental Congress ratified 235 years ago today.