Thomas Paine wrote the line used as the title for this post in his pamphlet titled “American Crisis” in 1776. Most people recognize the opening lines that Paine penned in that same essay.
“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.”
However, on this Memorial Day, while reading through his essay, I was struck by the line I used for the title. Furthermore, by the far too numerous men who served in the militia and Continental service that lay in unknown or unmarked graves throughout the eastern United States. To them that gave the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of the principles they held most dear, we remember on this day. To them and the thousands that came after and paid with their lives so others can have “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” we also remember today on this Memorial Day.
One of the main objectives of Emerging Revolutionary War is to visit the sites attributed to the American Revolutionary War era and to provoke interest and expand learning on the people, places, and history. That includes remembering those that lay in these unmarked graves “known only to God.”
Photos courtesy of Dan Welch.