For the Fourth of July holiday season, the American Heros Channel is presenting a series on The Revolutionary War. There are several episodes, presenting the American Revolutionary War in an historical accurate fashion. Former CBS newsman, Charles Kuralt, narrates the series, and viewpoints of historians are included throughout the series to give additional background on the events and people of that era.
It is amazing that our country was ever born. It took great men like George Washington to prevail in the face of problems like superior British forces, lack of support from the Continental Congress, and an inexperienced officer corps and citizen army.
Times were never easy for the Continental Army. There was never enough food. Uniforms were an occasional thing. Shoes were hard to get. At the Valley Forge encampment more than two thousand men died of sickness. Of that two thousand, more died under hospital care than those that stayed at their campsites to tough it out. Medical science was not a science.
During the Revolutionary War, more men died on British prison ships than in combat. Of the five thousand Continental soldiers surrendered to the British at Charleston more than one fourth of them died while on prison ships in Charleston harbor.
There were patriots in my family that were Continental soldiers in the Revolution. Two were at Valley Forge in a North Carolina regiment, and others served in militias. During the War of 1812, family members saw action with Andrew Jackson on his campaigns, including the Battle of New Orleans. In all cases the American Army was never fully equipped, and men from state militias formed the greater part of the forces.
We cannot take their sacrifices for granted. When we forget these lessons of history, we may be compelled to repeat them.
Many families can point to similar patriots in their lineage. Our citizens have always had the courage to face threats to the nation. Several times, our nation has gone to war when the battles were fought on another continent. Threats can take different shapes from the possible invasion of our country, to threats to the nation’s welfare and economy.
Our soldiers, today, are just as brave as men have ever been. They are much better equipped and led. The US military has a steadfast focus on the quality of force, the strength of these forces. the ability of these forces to face threats across the globe, and the health and welfare of those people who volunteer for duty. There are no finer military in the world.
Today, July 4, 2014, we thank God for the courageous and proud men and women who not only won our freedom in the early days of our nation, but those who face threats to our nation across the globe.
We have a lot for which to be proud.