During February, we have the distinct pleasure to celebrate American History Month.
I am very grateful for America. We are a nation unlike any other, bought by the blood, sweat and tears of our patriot ancestors. We live in a remarkable land that promises all of her citizens life, liberty and the freedom to pursue happiness. We are truly blessed people.
This month, we celebrate the birthday of George Washington who used his commanding presence, integrity and zeal to lead his ragged army to victory. His honesty, courtesy and respect for others led him in his duty during the Revolutionary War and his presidency.
We celebrate the birthday of Abraham Lincoln on February 12. Lincoln used his insight to preserve the Union during the bitter War Between the States. His integrity of character and iron will won a victory to produce the most important democracy in the world.
On February 19, 1945, our Marines landed on Iwo Jima. We celebrate the 69th anniversary of that memorable event this month. We thank God for those men who fought and died that day and for the volunteer Armed Forces who go into harm’s way for us today. They have the same love of country and its freedoms as the leaders of long ago.
Think of how this country began over 200 years ago. King George III was 22 when he took the English throne in 1760. He was very popular at home, but he had never traveled to America and never been a soldier. He had been told of the army in the colonies, described as a bunch of untrained rabble-rousers. I picture the young king as seeing no problem with controlling the American colonists. I can almost see the great astonishment on his face when those rabble-rousers succeeded and established these United States of America.
The echo of history calls to Americans in February as we celebrate American History Month. We reflect this month on those qualities and people which have made us a strong nation. Henry Kissinger said, “History knows no resting places and no plateaus.”
“There is a rank due to the United States among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war.” – George Washington
Betty Atkinson is a resident of Houston and periodically submits a column of general interest for our readers.