Throughout American history there are examples of men and women facing undeniable death or forthcoming doom. Our history shows that as evil and death smiled upon us, Americans stood up, took a deep breath, and smiled back. Here are but a few examples.
The year was 1836, and fewer than 300 Texans were surrounded in the Alamo by thousands of Mexican soldiers under the leadership of Gen. Santa Anna. The Texans refused to surrender. Quarter was not being given; prisoners would not be taken.
Their leader, Lt. Col. William Barrett Travis, sent a letter for help. The man’s letter read: “I shall never surrender or retreat. … I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch. The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country. Victory or Death.”
In the same conflict, Susannah Dickinson, wife of Alamo defender Almeron Dickinson, was asked to leave with other non-combatants. The woman was reported to have said: “I have married a soldier. I am a soldier’s wife. I shall remain by his side.”
As the Civil War, the most devastating event in American history, was ending, Abraham Lincoln addressed the nation in his second Inaugural address. The man said: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in. To bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations.”