An acquaintance played me the preview trailer for the new Assassin’s Creed video game coming out in October. Why? Because it includes an edited excerpt of George Washington’s thrilling speech to his army before the Battle of Long Island on August 27, 1776 (he also included the stirring passage in his General Orders of July 2, 1776). Here is the actual text:
“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 they consigned to a State of Wretchedness from which no human efforts will probably deliver them. The fate of unborn Millions will now depend, under God, on the Courage and Conduct of this army—Our cruel and unrelenting Enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission; this is all we can expect—We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die: Our own Country’s Honor, all call upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions—The Eyes of all our Countrymen are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings, and praises, if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the Tyranny meditated against them. Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and shew the whole world, that a Freeman contending for Liberty on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.”
…how this man had no part in writing any of our founding documents would be beyond us if we didn’t remember his great modesty, which led him to leave the writing of those documents to men considered expert writers and statesmen. Washington consistently expressed the purpose of our revolution and the highest ideals it embodied, and his eloquence and passion should be burned into our minds all throughout our education, but they are not.
Since video games reach where school cannot, here’s hoping that ACIII will lead some people to study Washington, who seems to be portrayed as the action hero he truly was in this trailer (you are following a hooded character who is the assassin of the title; at 44 seconds Washington’s speech begins to play): Washington speech – ACIII