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Patriotic Article
American History
By USAF Sr. Airman Jarrod Chavana

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Modern Heroes Pay Tribute To Battle Of Yorktown
(October 25, 2010)

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LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (Oct. 22, 2010) -- "The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable; and let it come! I repeat, sir, let it come,” said Patrick Henry during his rousing speech March 23, 1775.

Men and women of the Colonial states craved independence through harsh winters, long battles and limited supplies as they fought with a vengeance. They fought for a purpose and wanted no less than freedom of religion, speech and press, and for nearly seven years they raged war against a superior military.

One of the battles that stunned the world was in 1781, as the great British Gen. Charles Cornwallis requested a cease-fire at the battle of Yorktown, and more than 8,000 Soldiers and Sailors surrendered to the American and French armies commanded by Gen. George Washington.

To mark the 229th anniversary of America's decisive Revolutionary War victory at Yorktown, an official Yorktown Day parade began at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 19 along Yorktown's Main Street. Airmen, Soldiers, Marines and Sailors marched through the streets of the historic town. At the end of the patriotic parade a wreath was placed on the Yorktown Victory Monument in memory of those who fought and died during the siege of Yorktown in 1781.

The modern day observance traces its roots to 1922 when the Daughters of the American Revolution began an annual wreath-laying ceremony, which set the tradition for the current Yorktown Day. Today, the Yorktown Day Association, composed of 13 civic, patriotic and government organizations, coordinates the traditional commemorative events.

By USAF Sr. Airman Jarrod Chavana
633rd Air Base Wing
Copyright 2010

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