Who We Are.
In honor of Memorial Day, here are some of the most interesting and inspiring stories that define our history.
From the start.
"Our forefathers fought for liberty, freedom, and republican ideals the likes of which had never before been seen in any style of organized government preceding them. In many ways then, the American Revolution was an experiment."
Overview of the American Revolutionary War https://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/overview-american-revolutionary-war#.XstOYhhQMsw.twitter
For the better part of the 17th and 18th centuries, the relationship between Great Britain and her North American colonies was firm, robust, and peaceable. The colonies enjoyed a period of “salutaryhttps://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/overview-american-revolutionary-war#.XstOYhhQMsw.twitter
Allies are good.
"The Oneida provided American forces with troops and spies throughout the Revolution, beginning at the Battle of Oriskany in New York's Mohawk Valley August 1777."
More allies are even better.
"The victory at Yorktown would not have been possible without the French. French money and credit paid for the campaign. French troops made up half the army there."
How the French won the American Revolution https://www.pri.org/stories/2014-07-04/how-french-won-american-revolution
There might be no Fourth of July holiday without the French. Their help was vital to the winning of the War for Independence, and the survival of the early republic. The tragic story of one French...https://www.pri.org/stories/2014-07-04/how-french-won-american-revolution
George Washington out-spied the British, and pioneered a number of military intelligence tactics.
"The war for independence from Great Britain was not just one of battles and firearms, it was one of intelligence."
George Washington, Spymaster https://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/the-revolutionary-war/spying-and-espionage/george-washington-spymaster/
Help can come from unexpected places.
"...he had been a spy for General Washington, while employed in abusing him, and had imparted useful information, which could not otherwise have been obtained."
JAMES RIVINGTON: KING’S PRINTER AND PATRIOT SPY? https://allthingsliberty.com/2014/03/james-rivington-kings-printer-patriot-spy/
This article was originally published in Journal of the American Revolution, Vol. 1 (Ertel Publishing, 2013). Solving “the Most Astounding” Mystery of the American...https://allthingsliberty.com/2014/03/james-rivington-kings-printer-patriot-spy/
One of the most extraordinary (and least known) stories in American history:
Badly outnumber on Day 2 at Gettysburg, a battle-hardened regiment from the new state of MN makes a heroic suicide charge to hold the line.
The First Minnesota at Gettysburg
"Because one day at Gettysburg they lost more of their men who went into the fight than anybody else had - ever.
...those 300 seconds they then won for the United States have proven timeless."
Battle Of Gettysburg Day 2: The Charge To Win 300 Seconds
Incredibly, the 100 or so men from the First Minnesota who could still fight on Day 3 at Gettysburg again found themselves in the thick of the action.
During Pickett's Charge, Cpl. Henry O’Brien picked up the the regimental battle flag and charged the approaching rebels.
The other men followed, including Private Marshall Sherman, who captured the battle flag of the 28th Virginia Infantry Regiment while fighting barefoot.
Both O'Brien and Sherman received the Medal of Honor.
Minnesota still has that confederate flag, and will not return it.
"The Confederacy discovered overnight...Harriet Tubman was a formidable secret weapon whose gifts should never be underestimated."
‘General Tubman’: Female abolitionist was also a secret military weapon https://www.militarytimes.com/military-honor/black-military-history/2018/02/07/general-tubman-female-abolitionist-was-also-a-secret-military-weapon/
Harriet Tubman helped plan a South Carolina river raid that freed hundreds of slaves.https://www.militarytimes.com/military-honor/black-military-history/2018/02/07/general-tubman-female-abolitionist-was-also-a-secret-military-weapon/
"The regiment would go on to prove itself in combat operations throughout the rest of the war, receiving the French highest honor, the Croix de Guerre, for its unit actions."
African-American WWI 'Harlem Hell Fighters' proved their mettle, patriotism http://www.army.mil/article/199913/african_american_wwi_harlem_hell_fighters_proved_their_mettle_patriotism_in_combat
Though the debt is largely overlooked, Tolkien’s supreme literary achievement, “The Lord of the Rings,” owes a great deal to his experience at the Somme.
How J.R.R. Tolkien Found Mordor on the Western Front https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/03/opinion/sunday/how-jrr-tolkien-found-mordor-on-the-western-front.html
"Major Howard Connor, who was the signal officer of the Navajos at Iwo Jima, said, “Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima.”
Navajo Code Talkers and the Unbreakable Code — Central Intelligence Agency
"In addition, thousands of Mexican nationals living in the United States registered for military service during World War II."
The Surprising Role Mexico Played in World War II https://www.history.com/news/mexico-world-war-ii-surprising-involvement
"Many have said the unit stands as the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in Army history."
Asian-Pacific Heritage: Japanese-American WWII unit stands among Army's most decorated http://www.army.mil/article/188231/asian_pacific_heritage_japanese_american_wwii_unit_stands_among_armys_most_decorated
"In wartime, truth is so precious that it should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies." -- Winston Churchill
A Bodyguard of Lies: How the Allies Deceived Germany about D-Day https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/06/05/bodyguard-lies-how-allies-deceived-germany-about-d-day.html
The commander of the [Nazi POW] camp was furious, storming up to Edmonds and shouting, "All of you can't be Jewish?!"
"We are all Jews here," Edmonds responded.
'We are all Jews': World War II soldier honored for saving lives in POW camp https://www.cnn.com/2015/12/21/europe/us-pow-holocaust-hero/index.html
Had the Allied troops failed, Huxen says, “democracy would’ve been completely stamped out and crushed across continental Europe.”
What Does the ‘D’ in ‘D-Day’ Stand For? Experts Disagree With Eisenhower’s Answer https://time.com/5599811/d-day-meaning/
"Mueller, for his part, not only volunteered for the Marines, he spent a year waiting for an injured knee to heal so he could serve."
The Untold Story of Robert Mueller's Time in Combat https://www.wired.com/story/robert-mueller-vietnam/
I'm thankful for people like this man:
"Perhaps he’s been forgotten because he was a good, simple man — hard-working and generous. He held fast to what he believed was right and stood up against wrongdoing."
Colonel Colvill of the First Minnesota https://forgottenminnesota.com/blog/2014/04/colonel-colvill-of-the-first-minnesota
William Colvill — does that name ring a bell? Unless you're a Civil War history buff, this name probably doesn’t mean anything to you yet. Perhaps he’s been forgotten because he was a good, simple...https://forgottenminnesota.com/blog/2014/04/colonel-colvill-of-the-first-minnesota
I'll finish with a few quotes from a speech that a Republican president gave 90+ years ago while dedicating a monument to the Civil War hero from the previous Tweet.
Address Dedicating a Memorial to Col. William Colvill, Cannon Falls, Minn.
"Heroism is not only in the man but in the occasion. While there is a certain glamor which attaches itself to the peril which the highwayman and the bandit incur in their criminal activities, it is not genuinely heroic."
"It will not survive analysis. It leads nowhere. Having no moral quality, it provides no inspiration. It is only a counterfeit of the reality. If it is remembered at all, it is not as a blessing but as a curse."
"There was in their deed no element of selfishness, no hope of personal gain. It stands as an exhibition of pure patriotism, of supreme sacrifice for the integrity of the Union, and the inviolate sovereignty of the Federal Constitution."
"When they are...given control over their own actions, receive the returns from their own labor, and released from bondage of the mind so that ignorance & superstition are replaced by education & moral influences, the most progress is made toward enlightened civilization."
"...the bitterness, hatred, and sectional animosities that it left in its wake. For many years, both for the North and for the South, these were unfortunately stimulated and kept alive for the political advantage that the sponsors of such action hoped to secure."
"The time has long since passed when to hold or express such hostile sentiments should ever be permitted to work to the advantage of anyone. Those who resort to them should find that their standing in the public confidence is thereby seriously impaired."