This South Carolina Gamecock roosted atop Stone Mountain of Georgia prefers to commemorate American triumphs rather than the calamities that preceded them on September 11, 2001, December 7, 1941 or the burning of Washington by the British on August 24, 1814.
We appreciated the rescue efforts of the FDNY after 9/11 but we don’t appreciate that when asked by Bob Woodward in 2010 what national concern most keeps him up at night in 2009, President Barack Obama said “having first responders ready after a nuclear attack on the homeland.” Obama’s lack of concern with preventing such an attack explains his disdain for removing the threat of Saddam (which sacrifices by American armed forces to obtain this patriot most celebrates) or ISIS before they pose such a great threat to life and middle-class-sustaining cheap oil; as well as he and other non-Truman Democrats’ past apologies for the life-saving missions to Hiroshima and Nagasaki made necessary after Pearl Harbor.
Two Hundred years ago this week, on August 27, 1814, President James Madison returned after two days in exile to a British-occupied District of Columbia and an Executive Mansion (recently dubbed the “White” House as contrasted with the mostly non-white-painted residences in Washington City) gutted on the inside and charred black on the outside. The Treasury and most other government buildings had also been torched along with a Capitol whose Dome now rested on the ground between collapsing black walls. Dolley Madison found the First Family refuge in the Octagon House, this after manning the White House and saving the portrait of President George Washington before being forced to abandon it while the Commander in Chief joined troops opposing the British in Maryland.
President Madison, in contrast to the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (shown on architect’s plans as the “Presidential Palace” but first called the “President’s House” before its 1810 official designation as the “Executive Mansion”, and later officially the “White House” under Theodore Roosevelt), was among the first to see the danger posed by the British after Congress declared war on them in 1812, but his demands for more troops went unheeded by Secretary of War John Armstrong. After the burning, Georgetown and District militias informed the President that they would no longer take orders from Armstrong. Madison then replaced him with future President James Monroe and sent General Andrew Jackson to New Orleans, whose exploits ensured ultimate victory in the War of 1812.
We can only pray that Barack and Michelle could somehow inherit by osmosis, from the re-built walls they occupy when not on vacation, just a thimble-full of the courage, judgment and wisdom of James and Dolley, lest we see Washington, D.C. and other points across the Fruited Plain ablaze at the hands of enemies again.
God bless America.
[Historical facts verified with reference to James Madison (2014) by Liz Cheney]
“What our forefathers with so much difficulty secured, do not basely relinquish.” – William Bradford