Christmas of 1776 was not marked with tree lights and presents, but the phrase “Victory or Death” as George Washington and his troops courageously crossed the Delaware River.
Knowing that his army may not survive the next campaign season for battle, Washington did what very few would have done – he decided to launch a surprise attack on the Hessians, German mercenary soldiers, who were encamped at Trenton. It was a daring move on Washington’s part as his army, which dwindled from tens of thousands to only a few thousand, was beyond fatigued. They were so ill-equipped that burlap bags were used as makeshift shoes to protect their feet from the bitter cold and snow.
Despite their condition, this small but determined army embarked on a battle in fierce elements for the sake of Liberty. It is recorded that Washington directed his officers to read Thomas Paine’s The American Crisis to the troops.
“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 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.”
Going against all odds, they knew it was victory or death. Under divine providence, they prevailed.
While much time has passed, this historic battle continues to inspire those of us today who have been fighting tirelessly in the patriot movement – providing a great lesson of how it only takes an irate minority who is not willing to surrender to change the course of history.
As we reflect on the gloriousness of the birth of Jesus Christ, over 2000 years ago in Bethlehem, let’s not forget the small miracle that transpired 237 years ago at Trenton, which helped our nation secure the blessings of liberty.
Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!