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“President’s Day”

Certainly no one is perfect, including our First President and Commander in Chief of the Continental Army of the United States during the war. There is a reason kings, rulers, emperors and even former enemies gave this man due honor in their respective countries at the time of his death in 1799.

Napoleon ordered all French flags be lowered to half-staff and all French soldiers and sailors to wear emblems of mourning for George Washington. Cornwallis, his former enemy, repeatedly wrote to him from India, where he was governor, asking George Washington for his counsels for the difficult problems he faced in India. Frederick the Great declared George Washington’s New Jersey campaign, which saved the cause of independence in 1776-77 to be one of the most brilliant campaigns in the annals of military history.  The Delaware Indian nation sought his counsel (1779) as a "father" concerning the raising of their children. The list goes on.  However, be it his brilliance on the battlefield as Frederick acknowledged, or his admired status in the eyes of Napoleon, or the counsel he gave to the Delaware Indians that they follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ, first and foremost, or the forgiving attitude he showed toward Lord Cornwallis, the man is a monument to honor, dignity and a graceful spirit under trial as well as in times of peace.

There is perhaps no more fitting display of admiration than those of quite literally hundreds of chaplains who served in the army under his command.  This, by the Rev Emerson who wrote upon the arrival of the Commander in Chief in the assumption of his duties; “there is a great overturning in the camp as to order and regularity.  New lords, new laws. The generals, Washington and Lee, are up and down the lines every day. New orders from his Excellency are read to the respective regiments every morning after prayers. The strictest government is taking place.  Everyone is made to know his place and keep in it."

This general order is illustrative of the real strength that moved General Washington. “Truly God is with us, and, though the way be dark and dreary, I believe He will carry us through safely at last."

Reverend Wayne C Sedlak

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