On a trip to the east coast, I took a side trip to Philadelphia to view the old town. As usual, side trips are never long enough! But I stopped by Valley Forge, 25 miles northwest of Philly, to see the place depicted in my favorite painting, Prayer at Valley Forge by Arnold Fribere.
It’s a historical site, with beautifully grassy knolls dotted with cannons and plaques. But in December 1777 it was a military camp for the American Continental Army a poorly fed, ill-equipped army in the middle of a difficulty winter. Things looked bleak by all accounts of the war. Though no documents prove Washington got on his knees to pray, one can imagine him seeking guidance with a heavy heart.
At this time of celebration and picnics, we need to remember the struggle this young country went through so we can celebrate July 4th today.