…a Hand

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Taken with Microsoft Surface 2 tablet, Fayetteville, NC, 10/12/14.

I know that not everyone is a patriotic American.  That makes me sad, honestly.  Is our nation perfect?  No.  Has it ever been perfect?  No.  Nor will it ever be perfect!  But I’ve seen enough of the rest of the world to know that there’s no where else I’d rather live than right here in America!  I am proud to be an American.  And I know that we owe our freedom to others, including the men and women who have fought on behalf of our country and freedom for over two hundred years.

Near the Airborne and Special Forces Museum in Fayetteville, NC, just across an expanse of grass and concrete, is the North Carolina veterans museum.  (Not sure of the exact name…)  In the area adjacent to that building they have pylons rising up from the ground – one for each county in the state of North Carolina – and on the four sides of the pylons they have casts made from the hands of veterans.  Some of the hands are young and supple, some are clearly feminine hands, others are aged and gnarled with the years.  But each cast from each hand came from the hand of someone who served this country with dignity and honor.  It was special.  And it made me grateful all over again to be an American.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1780, in the early morning hours, a contingent of approximately 350 Patriot troops from the North Carolina and Virginia militias engaged a group of British Loyalists, numbering between 400 and 900, at the Shallow Ford crossing of the Yadkin River in North Carolina.

In the previous two weeks, British Loyalists had begun to overrun the area, thanks to an absence of Patriot forces, who had marched north to defend Charlotte from the British army. Upon hearing of the Loyalist uprising, Major Joseph Cloyd headed to the area with members of the North Carolina and Virginia militias. At the Shallow Ford crossing, Cloyd spotted the Loyalists, who had just crossed the Yadkin River and were headed west toward present-day Davie County.

Although they were severely outnumbered, Cloyd ordered the Patriot forces to attack; they gained the advantage when Loyalist leader Colonel Samuel Bryan was killed early in the battle. Without a leader, the Loyalists became disorganized and, realizing that defeat was imminent, they retreated across the Yadkin River, ending their reign of terror over the area. The Patriot militia lost one soldier killed and four wounded while it is believed that the Loyalists lost 14 killed.

The Battle of Shallow Ford is considered one of the most important battles for the Patriot cause to take place in North Carolina during the Revolutionary War. It lasted just under 90 minutes.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  Speed dating, invented by a rabbi from Los Angeles in 1999, is based on a Jewish tradition of chaperoned gatherings of young Jewish singles.

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