Celebrating the Fourth
- The Simple Life
By Sheryl Simons
Celebrating the Fourth
"A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger
than oneself." --Joseph Campbell
Our troops were defeated and certainly discouraged. They
were also trapped. They were no professional soldiers, but a rag
tag group of farmers and laborers. They had been surprised and
outmaneuvered as the British snuck up from behind and began the
conquest. We simply were no match for the Brits, with their hired
guns who were also arriving from Germany. Many Americans who still
thought that the "King" of England was still there leader were only
just beginning to realize that a real war and possible independence
might take place. Initially, Americans didn't imagine breaking free
from Great Britain, only wanting to protest the heavy taxations, and
governmental appointments they didn't have any say over.
They had been prepared to die for America's freedom, and die
they did. In one unit of over 200 Americans, only 9 men survived, as
fresh British troops kept arriving. There was only one thing to do,
retreat over the East River, but if the British discover the
retreat, half the remaining army will be completely vulnerable.
General Washington decides there is no alternative. They must be
swift and silent. Imagine retreating in small boats quickly with
over 9,000 men, horses, and equipment with the enemy right on your
tail. A heavy rain that night (yes, this was accomplished in one
night!) would have brought catastrophe, but for a pea soup fog in
Just after the largest battle of the Revolution, British
troops arrived to find their chance for a final and sure defeat of
American hotheads an utter disappointment.
It was said that the Declaration of Independence was signed July
4th, 1776, but was signed again in American blood on August 27,
1776. But the fog was not the only miraculous occurrence. American
heroes had fought the onslaught of British foes with almost super
human strength and circumstances that in no way could be called
Nathan Hale, a Dutch schoolmaster and educated scholar, became a spy
for the revolution in New York, though unprepared. Captured by the
Brits, he was taken to the gallows on Sept. 22, 1776, and was heard
to say just before his death " I regret that I have only one life to
give for my country."
Haym Salomon, a recent Jewish immigrant, personally financed over
$700,000, while risking his life as a spy. After being arrested and
convicted to die, he escaped, but refused freedom to continue his
covert operations for America. He died penniless.
Women, too, risked their lives working behind enemy lines to spy.
One woman posed as a housekeeper, would hide in closets to overhear
British maneuvers, and then would send messages to troops hidden
inside large fabric-covered buttons.
Posing as the enemy some American spies were hated by fellow
Americans, had their properties seized, their families forced from
their homes, and some even were brought to death by fellow Americans.
Only later, in historical review, can we see the courage of American
men and boys who paid in blood for our freedom, and are still paying
today, God bless them. Our troops are fighting still with no less
courage and sacrifice that our ancestors fought with.
Unquestionably, God brought our country into existence, and worked
through our young men, burying in their hearts the dreams of peace
and freedom. May we not forget His hand that brought our great
country into being nor those of the young men who paid the price for
Keeping it Simple,