There was a ghost of a chance that they would all succeed. The cards were stacked against them. They faced the most powerful forces in the then known world. Their loss would mean the loss of their lives and lands. They would be branded as traitors…an affront to their Sovereign.
Before all of this physical rebellion, ideas were forming in men’s and women’s minds. Mighty and powerful thoughts were written and spoken. Debates took place in colonial houses of government where men were dared to think beyond the challenges. Some spoke their truths and dared to claim their sacred honors of God-given inalienable rights. Some spoke their truths and dared to swear to the Divine Right of their king. Some threw their fates to the winds and remained silent. There was a ghost of a chance that all could exist peacefully and respect each other’s opinions. “These are the times that try men’s souls,” penned Thomas Paine.
And so my seven fourth and fifth grandfathers pledged their souls and sacred honors to the Patriots’ cause for revolution…for ideals and freedom from a European king…for the foundation of a new nation. They were Joseph Story, Joseph Boultinghouse, Benjamin Dows, Conrad Rhodes, John Nickel, Ebenezer Newman, and Thomas Newman. If they felt that they stood a ghost of a chance, they kept that fear hidden underneath hearts of courage, bravery, and rightness.
This Friday, we celebrate Veterans’ Day. May we remember with pride our first American veterans of war.