Last week, my cousin A and his wife S came to visit. They live in California and came East to see what life with abundant water looks like. I had a few days off and we toured the state checking out all the places where George Washington spent some time. I love these sorts of historical tours and especially enjoy the stories of Washington in New Jersey. In this state, the ragtag colonial Patriot army secured some of the biggest victories of the Revolutionary war and they did it by being wily and creative.
Every time I look at the spot where Washington crossed the Delaware I revisit the perilous story of that cold December crossing. To consider the journey those Patriots made is to be reminded that this nation was founded by unthinkably brave people; folks willing to take some serious risks in pursuit of a freedom that they could hardly conceive of.
That they prevailed is a tribute to the power of will and leadership; to the appeal of the idea of freedom, and a reminder that real patriotism doesn’t come from a press conference to announce presidential aspirations. It comes from actions taken when times are hard, leadership that isn’t afraid to sacrifice to accomplish good; and a sense that our nation is better when we all pitch in to do our part.