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We honor George Washington on President’s Day for good reason.

Washington’s critical role during the Revolutionary War, Constitutional Convention, and his two terms as the first president of the United States led to him eventually receiving the informal title, "Father of His Country."

Washington valiantly led his beleaguered army through years of conflict, narrowly escaping defeat several times and suffering extreme winter conditions at Valley Forge. In late December, 1776, Washington’s main force was stationed on the Delaware River near Trenton, New Jersey, where a British garrison of Hessian soldiers was stationed. His army was greatly depleted and demoralized. Many soldiers had deserted and many more were inclined to leave the army when their enlistment ended on the first of January.

Washington persisted and was inspired in his plan to attack the Hessians at Trenton. During the night of December 25 his forces crossed the Delaware in Durham boats and then marched about nine miles to Trenton enduring a severe blizzard and wading through deep snow. They caught the Hessians by surprise and after a short, but fierce battle, the Hessians surrendered. Renewed by the victory, and by Washington’s leadership, his forces were able to continue their fight for Independence.

A story commonly told in Pennsylvania demonstrates the faith of George Washington: A Pennsylvania farmer came in from the field and reported to his wife, “We will come out okay in the revolution. I was out in the field and heard a voice in the woods. I went to investigate and discovered George Washington kneeling in prayer.”

Washington had a deep faith in divine guidance, and in a Thanksgiving Day proclamation he expressed:

“It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor…”

We are indebted to Washington for our freedoms and our Constitution. At this time we can profit by reading more of the life of George Washington and also reading the Constitution. There are numerous books and internet references that parents can share with their children. One of my favorites is "Seven Miracles that Saved America" by Chris Stewart and Ted Stewart. You will especially enjoy the chapter "The Miracle of a Summer Fog" which describes the miraculous rescue of Washington from Long Island.

Bill Moss,

Rexburg