I was talking with a good friend the other day about her newly married son and how tight money is for them as they raise their newborn baby.
It reminded me of my young parents at the start of their family. I was three years old. It had just snowed, and my parents didn’t have enough money to buy me a pair of snow boots. My mom, determined to get me outside to play in the snow, loaded my feet with as many socks as possible, put a pair of shoes on my feet and proceeded to wrap my feet in dozens of plastic bags tied with string. It worked! There’s a picture of me laughing and playing in the snow and building a snowman (as much as a three-year old can) with dry feet wearing my mom’s make-shift snow boots.
The small memory reflects the spirit of America. Ingenuity and determination. My mom did not seek a hand-out. She did not protest and chant, “Boots for babies” and she did not use her financial lack as an excuse to steal a pair of boots or stay inside and mope. She had no time for victim mentality. She had a problem; not a big one, but a problem which she solved with ingenuity and determination.
Ingenuity, determination and grit are grafted into our American story. It is just so American to pursue something against all odds; even as failure looms overhead. And, we Americans love our stories of grit. It is why most of us teared up in the 1993 movie “Rudy”, a true story about Daniel Ruettiger who had aspirations of playing football for the University of Notre Dame despite significant obstacles. In the last scene Devine finally lets Rudy play on the kickoff by Notre Dame to Georgia Tech. Rudy then stays in for the final play of the game and sacks the Georgia Tech quarterback. He’s carried off the field on his teammates’ shoulders to cheers from the stadium.
Now let’s focus on some bigger problems that we have faced as a nation and how that American grit tackled them to the surprise of those involved.
The untamed wild new land of America did not take into account the resolve of the American homesteaders in the 1880s who built their sod homes into hillsides for added protection against the sometimes, violent weather that crossed the open plains. GRIT!
The Japanese did not take into account the strength of the American Spirit when they incorrectly thought they could destroy us with a single blow at Pearl Harbor December 7th 1941. As Craig Shirley noted in his book, December 1941: 31 Days That Changed America and Saved the World, within hours after the attack Americans attitude about the war and the economy changed. Americans put everything into the war effort. Everything! Even children were running scrap, paper, metal, rubber and grease drives. There were no new cars for a long time as Detroit turned to making airplanes in less than a month after the attack! GRIT!
The British at Breed’s and Bunker Hill in 1775 did not take into account the tenacity of the young patriot army who repelled the first two British assaults on the hill and only lost the third assault because they ran out of ammunition. The British won, but at a terrible price. It was one of the bloodiest battles of the Revolution. In just two hours of fighting nearly half of the 2,200 Redcoats were killed or wounded. Nathaniel Greene, a patriot leader, is quoted as saying, “ I wish we could sell them another hill at the same price.” GRIT!
The Tories who raided General Schuyler’s home one summer evening in 1781 did not take into account the ingenuity and brass of Peggy Schuyler. General Schuyler was the mastermind of a spy ring and the Tories were in search of him. Peggy was his daughter who snuck downstairs during the raid to retrieve her infant sister in a cradle near the door who was forgotten as everyone fled upstairs in haste. One of the raiders pointed his musket at Peggy and demanded her father’s whereabouts. Peggy, quick on her feet, announced that he had taken to town to bring back reinforcements. As she raced up the stairs with her sister in her arms, one of the attackers swung a tomahawk at her catching her skirts and hacking a deep gouge into the banister that can be seen at the historic home to this day. Peggy by the way is the sister to Eliza Hamilton, wife of Alexander Hamilton. GRIT!
The Democrat slave holders did not take into account the passion of an undaunting Republican President named Abraham Lincoln who was resolute to abolish slavery while at the same time preserve the union throughout his term. Despite intense hatred, cruel attacks and physical and emotional pain, he persevered in his mission. GRIT!
This American grit impacted our nation and continues to do so today. These stories and countless others are timeless reminders that grit is part of America’s DNA. We cannot vacillate now. This is not a time for timidness. We need men and women of spine with a vision of the possibilities of the American dream.
We are a nation of audacious determination from the start. The same spirit is alive in America today. Once again, the enemy of what America stands for has not taken our Spirit of Perseverance into account. No matter how dark it gets, how loud the enemy screams, or how undefeatable the lies seem, the enemy will not win. Yes, we might experience some failure and encounter some casualties along the way, but we will never lose. Why? Because this grit, this radical determination in the face of insurmountable odds, this unexplainable endurance is not man made. George Washington who dauntlessly lead a ragtag group of Patriots to victory, gave all credit to God when he said, “If I shall be able to rise superior to these, and many other difficulties which may be enumerated, I shall most religiously believe that the finger of providence is in it.” If we don’t see God in our past; we won’t see Him in our future.
The present day MSM and deep state cohorts have made it obvious that they are not on the side of the American people with their vile all-out attacks on our liberty, security, and sovereignty. We the American people must hold our resolve. We must endure and show how strong the heart of the perseverant American Spirit is once again. And, we will because we are Americans. The enemy did not succeed before and he will not succeed now.
Each of us has our own story of ingenuity and grit; especially those of you in the military. The military is the master of ingenuity and grit. I encourage you to think deeply on those moments and draw strength from them. Ingenuity and grit is the cocktail of success and it is what our enemy never takes into account. And remember that grit is a miracle and gift from the finger of God!
God bless and MAGA!