President Obama (wow.) just gave his inaugural address, with an unattributed quote:
So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:
“Let it be told to the future world…that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive…that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”
Obama seemed (at least to the tv talking heads) to imply that these were George Washington’s words, but the quote is from the first of Thomas Paine’s papers entitled The American Crisis. I also think some people may have jumped to the conclusion that this was the Valley Forge winter, but Obama is referring to December 1776, when Washington was about to lose much of his army to expiring enlistments, and the Battles of Trenton and Princeton had not yet taken place. The particular paragraph from which this quote is drawn is actually quite a belligerent passage.
Well, it’s a new administration, and an exciting day. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, when the pomp will be over and the country can get to work.