This week marks the 236th anniversary of our nation's founding.
It is no coincidence that I begin the Yankee Doodle Spies series with the first battle fought by the new nation, the battle of Long Island. Until July 1776, the American colonies of Great Britain were fighting for their rights as Britons. After July 1776 they were fighting to be Americans.
This fact was not lost on George Washington, who ordered the Continental Army defending New York to assemble in formation while the declaration was read aloud to them. A stirring moment that was meant to inspire the troops and galvanize the nation for the maelstrom of the impending British onslaught. The visual on the blog home page portray's that event.Washington had the army assemble at six in the evening on July 9th, 1776. The declaration had been read to the public in Philadelphia a day earlier. A fast rider had carried a copy to New York. After the declaration was read, the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army addressed the men, who responded with roaring cheers.
I will end with Washington's own words. "...this important event will serve as a fresh incentive to every officer and soldier to act with fidelity and courage, knowing that now the peace and safety of his country depend, under God, solely on the success of our arms, and that he is now in the service of a State possessed of sufficient power to reward his merit, and advance him to the highest honors of a free country."