Monday, December 19, 2011

Maybe We Should Memorize These Words...!


Once in a great while, words are written that strike at our very being.

Sometimes they make us sad, sometimes they make us angry, and most always they motivate us in some fashion! That, in my opinion, is what Thomas Paine did when he published American Crisis !

I'm of the opinion that now would be a good time for us to go back and re-read this piece, because these words will never lose their power!

Dec 19, 1776:
Thomas Paine publishes American Crisis

These are the times that try men's souls; the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

When these phrases appeared in the pages of the Pennsylvania Journal for the first time, General George Washington's troops were encamped at McKonkey's Ferry on the Delaware River opposite Trenton, New Jersey. In August, they had suffered humiliating defeats and lost New York City to British troops. Between September and December, 11,000 American volunteers gave up the fight and returned to their families. General Washington could foresee the destiny of a rebellion without an army if the rest of his men returned home when their service contracts expired on December 31. He knew that without an upswing in morale and a significant victory, the American Revolution would come to a swift and humiliating end.

Thomas Paine was similarly astute. His Common Sense was the clarion call that began the revolution. As Washington's troops retreated from New York through New Jersey, Paine again rose to the challenge of literary warfare. With American Crisis, he delivered the words that would salvage the revolution.

Washington commanded that the freshly printed pamphlet be read aloud to his dispirited men; the rousing prose had its intended effect. Reciting Paine's impassioned words, the beleaguered troops mustered their remaining hopes for victory and crossed the icy Delaware River to defeat hung-over Hessians on Christmas night and on January 2, the British army's best general, Earl Cornwallis, at the Battle of Princeton. With victory in New Jersey, Washington won not only two battles, but also the love and thanks of man and woman.

Maybe we should reprint the American Crisis and hand it out at every opportunity! Sure couldn't hurt, in my humble opinion!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning, OK? I have some fresh Clementines to go along with it!

10 comments:

Ted said...

When you take in consideration of the needs of the less fortunate among us in this country than you have a true caring Democracy.You can call it anything you want to,I just call it compassion.

Sixbears said...

"These are the times that try men's souls."

We can always find inspiration from our founding fathers.

linda m said...

Thanks for sharing these inspiring words.

Momlady said...

It should be re-printed in every newspaper in this country.

Ted said...

American Crisis
This time is not an external problem but an internal.Two opposites need to find away to come together for the good of the Nation not their political party's needs.All I can say is GOD help us!

Ted said...

American Crisis
This time is not an external problem but an internal.Two opposites need to find away to come together for the good of the Nation not their political party's needs.All I can say is GOD help us!

HermitJim said...

Hey Ted...
We should always look out for those on the fringe of our society, the less fortunate.

Compassion is one thing that makes us human!

Thanks for coming by!


Hey Sixbears...
I would have liked to have been there when his piece was read to the troops and to have seen the reaction!

Hell, I get fired up just reading it!

Inspiration...?You bet!

Thanks for coming over today!


Hey Linda...
It certainly is my pleasure to share them, believe me!

Thanks for coming over this morning!


Hey Momlady...
I couldn't agree with you more!

You have a great day, and thanks for coming over today, my friend!


Hey Ted...
Let's hope we can find a way to settle our internal problems! SOON!

Thanks again for the visit!

JOJO said...

Thanks for a great post as always.

Sorry I am so late. But I bet there will still be some coffee in that pot.:)

Craig Cavanaugh said...

His words are certainly applicable today. Maybe even more so than when originally penned...

Gorges Smythe said...

There were giants in the land in those days! (To misquote the Bible.)