Program shows the value of shared sacrifice

Published: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 02:57 PM.

How many of us have not experienced the truth that sacrifice deepens our commitment, that shared challenge strengthens our attachment to each other?

Why is it that Marines feel a special bond — a commitment to each other — that transcends ethnicity, generations, genders, even nationality? Shared sacrifice builds Marines and their commitment to "Semper Fidelis" or "always faithful."

In addition to the Marines, shared sacrifice also strengthens relationships from marriage to organizational teams. Commitment through sacrifice also built our nation.

The Second Continental Congress appointed George Washington commander of all continental forces on June 15, 1775. He arrived in Cambridge, Mass., on July 2 and assumed command the next day. He set to work accumulating supplies and building up his meager army to fight what amounted to his fellow countrymen: his brother Englishmen comprising the manpower for the world’s greatest superpower of its time.

In time, he and his army sacrificing much, Washington would against all odds defeat this great superpower. America was spawned in sacrifice.

To a friend in New York, Washington wrote shortly after talking command, "In little time we shall work up these raw materials into good stuff." By "good stuff," he meant both men and material, both of which were necessary to be turned into "good stuff" if he had any hope of his fledgling army succeeding against the Red Coats. Through good leadership and shared sacrifice, he did just that.

I walked some of the earliest battlefields of the American Revolution two weeks ago, not far from where Washington first took command of the Continental Army and from which he wrote that raw materials (and men) could be turned into "good stuff." Washington understood the power of shared sacrifice turning raw material into "good stuff."

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