We were once an honorable nation

August 3, 2007 by  

When Tom Tancredo stood up in a coffee shop in Iowa and told the two dozen or so collected diners that he believed the U.S. should respond to an attack by Islamic extremists by bombing Mecca, it wasn’t just the surrealistic ramblings of a politician with no concern of human life. It was also a perfect example of just how far America has fallen from the path laid out by the Founding Fathers.

It was but a few months more than 230 years ago that Gen. George Washington made a decision at Drakes Farm in New Jersey that would help shape the ideal to so many that the United States was the greatest nation on Earth.

During the American Revolution, there was a battle of American against British and Hessian soldiers. The Americans were forced to retreat, and left seven wounded soldiers on the field of battle. One of them, Lt. William Kelly offered to surrender to the British. His offer was refused.

When the British took over the field after the battle, they brutally murdered each of the wounded American soldiers.

When word of this reached Gen. Washington, he stood firm and made it clear to his men - we will not do this to them. “We are fighting for a cause. And our cause demands we behave with honor.”

As the war continued and the tide turned, Americans took more and more German and British prisoners of war. And they were all treated respectfully and humanely. Gen. Washington’s words were heeded, and Americans were honorable in their treatment of POWs.

The nation was in peril, the ink on the Declaration of Independence was not yet dry, and Americans fought for their very survival against the most fierce armies on the planet. And America won. And did so with honor.

In the end, nearly 25 percent of the Germans who fell in to American hands on the field of battle chose to stay in the new nation. This story is well retold at NPR’s podcast “Krulwich on Science” with Robert Krulwich and historian David Hackett Fisher.

Click here to head over to NPR to download the podcast, and listen for yourself about the America that Washington and his fellow founders fought for more than two centuries ago. And compare it to the blood-thirsty, torturing, paranoid and fearful nation the U.S. is today.

“We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience,” Washington has been quoted as saying.

It is time we look back and remember we were once an honorable nation.



5 Responses to “We were once an honorable nation”

  1. QuakerDave on August 3rd, 2007 12:24 pm

    A wonderful, inspiring post. I’d love to see this on editorial pages everywhere. Nice work.

  2. MediaBloodhound on August 5th, 2007 10:08 pm

    I agree with QuakerDave. Well done. And oh so timely!

  3. William K. Wolfrum on August 6th, 2007 4:28 am

    Thanks folks, I really appreciate it. It’s amazing how the hardcore “patriots” amongst us have so little respect or interest for what got us here in the first place, and so little respect for someone like Washington and the rest of the founders.


  4. Gene on July 9th, 2009 7:18 pm

    Caught this recently via your crosspost from TPM, amazing work boss!

  5. Wolfrum’s Morning: Don’t Call it a Comeback « Blogaround « William K. Wolfrum Chronicles on May 9th, 2011 5:56 am

    [...] August 3, 2007: We Were Once An Honorable Nation. [...]

Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

Enter 300x250 Banner Code Here
  • Details: The Mac Daddy makes you jump!

WordPress SEO fine-tune by Meta SEO Pack from Poradnik Webmastera