Memorial Day 2017: Washington's Immortals
Our forefathers endured hardships that none of us could ever imagine in their fight for Independence against Great Britain. When the war began, General George Washington and his rag-tag army were handed a series of crushing blows. At the Battle of Long Island in 1776, Washington’s Army would have been destroyed had it not been for the courage of 400 men of the 1st Maryland Regiment. During the ever-important opening battle, Washington was badly outmaneuvered on the battlefield by British General William Howe. Howe simultaneously attacked the front lines of the Americans and moved his troops behind them. Washington’s only hope of retreat was a small gap in the British line that was being held by the Marylanders. To allow for an orderly retreat, the 1st Maryland Regiment acted as a rearguard and repeatedly charged the British to allow the remainder of Washington’s men to withdraw. Because of these brave men, the retreat was successful and the cause was still alive. 256 Marylanders died during the heroic stand of their regiment. When Washington observed their bravery during the battle, he uttered, “Good God, what brave fellows I must lose.” This Maryland Regiment earned the nickname of, “The Immortal 400” for their actions that saved the American Revolution.
When these immortal men made their stand 241 years ago, America was still just an idea, but even in those earliest of days, they understood that this idea was worth fighting and dying for. Today, all we can ever do is remember the sacrifices that those men made and the millions of men who have been inspired to follow their example over the years. Be proud of your country. Never take it for granted. Always remember that we are because they were.