"The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now depend on God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die."
by:
George Washington
(1732-1799) Founding Father, 1st US President, 'Father of the Country'
Source:
July 2, 1776, in orders sent to his officers explaining the war effort
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Reader comments about this quote:
Not hard to see why he is called "the Father of our country."
 -- CB, PA     
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    Words that we should heed today, the time is indeed at hand.
     -- P.M.     
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     -- Joe, Rochester, MI      
    Timeless words ... strange how those same words seem timely today. I wonder why it is that the fight for liberty must continually be waged.
     -- Mike, Mount Holly, NC     
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    Soon we will have the opportunity to reaffirm this with our actions.
     -- David L. Rosenthal , Hollywood, Florida     
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    Words that ring true to this day and seems appropriate to the times also.
     -- Me Again     
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    The problem with this quote and others of a similar ilk (other than the fear factor), is that they help fan the flame of religious fundamentalism “The fate of unborn millions will now depend on God, on the courage and conduct of this army”. Don’t align God with your army, its yours and not his – you have the right to prey and worship to your God, even go to battle in his name, but that’s all it ever is. Arjuna, who did not believe in violence was encouraged to change his mind and go into battle by his God Krishna – this story forms the subject of the book “Bhagavad Gita”. They went into battle under Ajuna’s name not Krishna’s – “I Have A Dream”.
     -- RobertSRQ     
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    Eminent Domain, NSA, Surveillance, Taxation without representation. IRS Habeus Corpus? Yep! I'd say these words are true today. We're living in a "soft" tyranny, but a tyranny all the same.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    He did not align God with his army. Clearly his army would have been useless if the intentions of God were against them. The statement does not imply that God was with them only that they relied on him and hoped for his grace during their time of trouble.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    "Whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves" hardly seem appropriate from a slaveholder and illustrates the difference in what is considered moral. Of course, Washington freed his slaves -- after his death!. I, personally, think the current president is immoral, but to others he is more moral than his predecessor. Who's to say?
     -- Jack, Green, OH     
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     -- Mike, Norwalk      
    Remember that GW was the leader of a rag tag army of volunteers fighting for Independence from a feudalist monarchy -- it had not been done for thousands of years. As a deist, to say that our fate depends on God AND the courage and conduct of our army, is to say we must do all we can and leave the rest to 'divine Providence' (another popular phrase of Washington and fellow deists). I don't have a problem with this call/prayer. I do have a problem with victors using their victory as a proof of 'God' and his support of their ideology (that is simply, "might makes right"). I would equate this quote with what is facing Americans and the world today against the New World Order.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    The words of a man and leader who had stepped across the line against the English Crown in behalf of political independence. He nor any of the unanimous and wealthy men in Philadelphia were at risk of losing anything until they commited treason against the King of England. Yes after that they had to fight maybe not so much for their very propetry but to keep their heads out of a noose. And thank goodness they valued liberty more than than their property or their lives.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    He does not sound like much of a deist if those yet unborn are depending on God. That statement would imply that God influences events on earth now and in the future. That is not a deist clockwork in motion idea. As for the quote, somehow I think Washington would be appalled at the soft slavery Americans have accepted for themselves. We have been living under a kinder, gentler fascism since at least the New Deal, and it is only getting worse (your papers please).
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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     -- Bill J Spence, Piperton(Memphis), TN      
    This quote inspires every American who wrote it. But, sometimes I think that Washington just said it because he had his "last straw" with his army.
     -- Lindsay, Park Ridge, NJ     
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    I think that this quote moved many people in many ways. I know that I have been inspired to use this quote in my report for school.
     -- MELP, New York, NY     
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    Forgot the stars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     -- MELP, New York, NY     
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    I like it - 'prey to your God.' Or prey on your God would be even better. Hilarious. Rest all y'all are chumps.
     -- Ennis, Hazard     
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    WWG1WGA 
     -- Ronw13, Idaho     
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