As I drive to Colorado to celebrate my father’s upcoming birthday, I have been listening to Ron Chernow’s wonderful biography of George Washington. Last night, when crossing Nevada in the dead of night, but with the temperature fluctuating from the mid-90s to low 100s, I learned of the trials that great man faced when first taking charge of the Continental Army, then little more than a ragtag collection of state militias, in 1775.
Among other things, the then-green Commander-in-Chief was concerned about the spiritual welfare of his men. From his “General Orders” of July 4, 1775 (one year before that day would become the most significant one on an American’s calendar):
The General . . . requires and expects, of all Officers, and Soldiers, not engaged on actual duty, a punctual attendance on divine Service, to implore the blessings of heaven upon the means used for our safety and defence.
Wonder how the ACLU would have reacted had it been around at the time.
Contrast the father of our country with the the current Mayor of New York City: “New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will not reconsider his decision to exclude clergy from the ceremony marking 10 years since the Sept. 11 attacks, a spokesman said Friday.“