“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 their country; but he that stands by 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.” –The Crisis, Thomas Paine
Those immortal words were composed in a moment of inspiration by the famous pamphleteer, Thomas Paine, two days before Christmas in the first year of the American Revolution. They were read to General Washington’s men on Christmas day as his troops prepared to cross the Delaware River to launch a surprise attack on Great Britain, the greatest military power on the face of the earth.
Washington’s troops prepared to make the crossing to Trenton, New Jersey, in the dead of night. It was dark; it was freezing; and many of his troops were shoeless – leaving a track of blood that stained their journey. The Continental Army was also plagued with low morale. Though the war had been gone on for only a few months, the patriots suffered defeat after defeat. The dream of American independence was dying, and the idea was quickly becoming a silly fantasy. However, when those encouraging words were proclaimed to the troops in the theatrical, booming voice of General Henry Knox on that cold Christmas night, the men were filled with a sense of hope and the “sacred fire of liberty” was rekindled once again. (Being George Washington, pages 21-25)
The words of Thomas Paine ring as true today as they did in 1776…Continue reading at http://thecollegeconservative.com/2012/01/02/summer-soldiers-and-sunshine-patriots/