Forgive me if this is a bit dramatic, but visiting Ground Zero and the Statue of Liberty got me thinking…
Last week Alicia and I had the privilege of spending a few days in New York. On our trip we stopped in Brooklyn, and being the history nerd that I am, I was awestruck by this quote from George Washington.
The British army had amassed 10,000 Red Coats to storm New York. Understanding that losing New York was tantamount to losing the country, General Washington knew his men needed to make a stand in the Battle of Brooklyn. His words now live on, forever etched in the sidewalk and in the hearts of modern patriots. He said:
“The fate of unborn millions will now depend on the courage and conduct of this army. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die.”
Reading those words and trying to picture Washington’s army looking at the enemy soldiers coming in the Hudson River, I felt an appreciation for the “courage and conduct” of those men—men whom I will never know. I realized just how prophetic the future President’s words proved to be. Did his army have any way of knowing that he was right? Here I stood, 239 years later, as one of the “unborn millions” whose fate he secured. I am grateful for the men and women who have defended my freedom over the years, but freedom would not be there to defend were it not for Washington and his army at the Brooklyn shore in 1776.
I may never do anything nearly as heroic as that army did, but the choices I make today can affect unborn millions, for the better or worse. Choices that seem small today can have incredible consequences down the road, shaping the course for future generations. We must resolve to conquer the task at hand; win the battle every day to make the proper decision, stand for what is right, defend those in need, and stand tall even in the face of ridicule. Taking the easy way out may have devastating consequences for unborn millions.
Today I resolve to conquer or die. I hope you’ll stand with me.