After nearly 10 years of hunting, the United States has killed Osama Bin Laden. President Obama stated, “We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. . . . [W]e are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history . . .”
The United States was founded on perseverance. We did not win the Revolutionary War through grand military strategy, superior technology, or greater numbers. In fact, we were largely lacking in all these areas. General Washington and the Continental Army were battling the world’s greatest power. The British had more adept and experienced generals, the most formidable navy in the world, and far superior numbers of highly trained soldiers. But we had our convictions.
George Washington indeed lost more battles than he won. He was prone to overly complicated tactical maneuvers and the Americans bungled most of their battles. To make matters worse, the military novices in Congress felt the need to meddle in Washington’s tactics and often pushed Washington into military disasters. With all of this defeat, the American Army came alarmingly close to disintegration as the soldiers – who suffered from illness, overdue payments from the cash-strapped Congress, and defeat after the defeat – yearned to return home. But Americans are hardy stock. The cause for liberty and independence kept the patriots fighting.
Washington served as the epitome of American perseverance. Despite nearly hopeless odds, he pressed on. And in doing so, he rallied the American people to fight on with him. Even though he yearned to stand up and fight the British “like a man” he knew he would lose and instead chose patience. He turned the Revolution into a war of attrition in which he fought many defensive battles, retreating time and again. In doing so, he wore down the British and drained Parliament’s coffers.
Even after the original patriotic zeal for the war faded and the horrors of battle set in, Washington and his men soldiered on. Through death and defeat they fought on for 7 years. America would stop at nothing to achieve her goals.
This is the American way. I am proud that has not changed.