As we gathered together as family and friends to celebrate the 245th anniversary of this grand experiment of democracy, I am acutely aware of the toll the past year has taken on us all. Between the pandemic and loss and illness of so many, to the civil unrest and racial injustice, to the corrosive and bitter political divisions plaguing our country, it is easy to get discouraged and disheartened.
However, I just finished reading two books that came at the perfect time for me, and I want to share them with you.
The first is The Indispensables by Patrick K. O’Donnell. This renowned historian tells the story of average farmers, fishers, and tradespeople from Marblehead, Mass., who became the backbone of General George Washington’s fledgling Continental Army and the precursor to today’s Navy and Marine Corps. O’Donnell’s meticulously researched book describes how the first fully integrated unit in US military history repeatedly snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, not as a dry account of history but like an action-adventure novel. It describes how this intrepid group of citizens, known as The Indispensables, set the country on the path to freedom, independence, and the dream of liberty for all Americans, regardless of race, creed, color, or religion. Were they perfect? No more perfect than we are as human beings today. But these imperfect humans set a course for us that we celebrate today.
To read the rest of the story, please go to: American Bakers Association