Who, won the war? The Revolutionary War, the War for Independence. There is a real opportunity here for a movie and I'm sure, it will get done.
For the masses, there was a turnstile on entry into this war. Soldiers came and went through the entire war. But there was a core group of soldiers who started in it, fought through it, and were there at the end of it.
Before I go on further, in talking about this core element's leader, I want to mention, that Washington, in the end, was as John Quincy Adams was and had indicated in his inaugural speech, in that of being a Federalist. At the end of his four years, Adams was ejected from the white house as quickly as could be done for holding this view. As for Washington, had he and his cohorts been in action during the Civil War, it's likely that Thomas Jefferson would have gone with the Confederacy, and Washington with the North. Washington believed in a strong Federalist state, Jefferson with independent states. I have to say that, in seeing how things have gone in recent decades, I would have had to side with Jefferson.
The states have given us some craziness over time (see southern Arizona lately), but have also been a counterweight to the excessive capability of abuses from our nation's capital. "The Patriot Act" has overstepped the bounds of decency and what this nation was built upon. "The War on Drugs", a "war" against our nation's own citizenry; has been a concern that should be moderated by our medical profession, yet the ignorant and judicial sides of our government have seen fit to abscond with a concern that is obviously, a situation proven repeatedly to be true, in stepping into a realm beyond their control or understanding.
I believe we need that counteractive mentality allowing our states to have independent minds so there are those time that we have a difference of opinion and we need that for a strong, national dialogue of plans and intentions. The Federal laws are there as a catchall, protecting our states from the most obvious infractions of morality and ethics. When the Federal level is lead astray from what is rational, it pays to have the parts of the whole, the states themselves, to be there to say "wait", "stop", what the hell are you doing?
Okay, getting back to the concerns of the core soldiers in the Revolutionary War....
There are 3-4,000 young men who fought in the Continental Army for the duration. They signed up for the duration. They were the core. The other members of the Continental Army came and went. It was like a turnstile. There was this core of people. They were not the typical Americans. They are not yeomen farmers. Or artisans, even. They are indentured servants, recent emigrants from Ireland, or Scotland and they freed slaves.
"Twelve percent of the Continental Army is Black. They are fighting by the way, in integrated units. Which, the only other time, it doesn't happen again until the Korean War. Those, are the guys that won the war. And they've never, ever been recognized. They didn't get pensions, they didn't get paid, they didn't get fed.... The reason they did it is because they didn't have any other prospects. And in the end, once they got into the war, it was a kind of "band of brothers" thing." - from a talk by Pulitzer Prize-winner Joseph Ellis who wrote the excellent book, "His Excellency: George Washington"
There are other people a plenty, who through various wars throughout American history, have not gotten the attention they deserve. OSS, CIA and other special agencies come to mind in this arena. When these individuals get our nation's highest medals and honors, they are kept secret; in the case of the CIA, hard copy of these awards are never to leave the building. They may never be heard of, but we know they are there, they know they are there and have been rewarded for their efforts, albeit sometimes, after their demise in the field.
Outside of these clandestine operators, there are also plenty of special and normal forces who have not and will not receive recognition. So when it comes to mind who these are or those who deserve and have not been given even passing recognition for their sacrifices, it makes sense to bring their story to light and perhaps, give them if only postmortem commendations, if not by individual, then by unit. The Fighting Irish come to mind.
I believe this core group of soldiers deserves this kind of recognition, even if at such a temporal distance from their actions, because we need to know who those are who have given so much, that has gone on to serve so much for so many; across our nation and across the world.
Cheers! To those core soldiers of the first American Continental Army.
Black soldiers in the Revolutionary War
The Fighting 69th