The day after Christmas brought a repeat celebration on the nationally recognized voting integrity broadcast, Voice of the Voters. Airing on Philadelphia’s Renaissance Radio Station, WNJC1360 AM, and on the web WWWWNJC1360DOTCOM, guest host Lori Rosilowsky utilized the first half of the hour long program to play Christmas music that was as popular during the American Revolution as it is today. Poetically, we learn during the broadcast that the staying power of the celebratory music parallels that of America’s democracy.
Democracy is an paradox of strength and fragility. It is as strong as impervium (sic) when left unmolested but is susceptible to erosion when manipulated by powers motivated by malice or operating with ignorance. Either process can bring long term tragedy, thus, the wise folk that are those members of the grassroots voting integrity movement have joined as a galvanized force whose sole purpose is to protect and sustain the original intent of American Democracy.
On the broadcast of December 26, Lori Rosilowsky opened the musical aspect of the show with an outline of the history of many Christmas songs, explaining that there popularity has survived the test of time. Her first choice to play on air was my all time favorite, “O’ Holy Night”. Good choice Lori! She and fellow musical artist Courtney Colletti produced the combined sounds of an angelic duo. Lori also shared the trivia that this wonderful piece of music was also the first music to air on broadcast radio just over a century ago, in 1906! The next song was “Carol of The Bells”, a Ukrainian standard that serves as a celebration of Christmas everywhere except the Ukrain; there it is a celebration of New Years.
Lori closed the musical portion of the broadcast with her rendition of “My Grown Up Christmas List”, which can be heard on the Voice of the Voters website as a pod cast. Lori’s talent shines as both an instrumentalist and vocalist. Check it out at WWW.VOICEOFTHEVOTERSDOTCOM.
At this point the program shifted gears and Mary Ann Gould took the helm to steer the broadcast to that point in time where this nations first President faced a terrible moment. It was Christmas day 1776, and the Continental Army had only one week left in there commitment. January 1, 1777 would find the struggling American potential without a recognized military force. General George Washington was pressured as few commanders have ever been, and his decision and the performance of his tortured army are the reasons that I am here to write this article and the reader free to read such.
On the broadcast, General Washington was portrayed by Bucks County Pennsylvania resident thespian, Bob Gerenser. His portrayals of Washington have entertained many thousands of Delaware Valley residents with his solo recitals and the reenactments of the famous Christmas Crossing of the Colonial Army at Washington’s Crossing State Park, located in beautiful Bucks County Pennsylvania.
When Mr. Gerenser was in character, Mary Ann had to prompt and prod the General to relate the story of the attack on Trenton, as recalling that terrible decision to attack with diminished forces under extremely difficult weather circumstance revealed an obvious emotional pain. It was with great difficulty that he was able to make the decision and he credits his strength to the men of the all volunteer Continental Army. During that cold, bitter, nor’easter with many of his troops poorly clothed and sparsely provisioned he drew from the faces of his troops. Washington’s decision to attack Trenton was bold and certainly unexpected to the British campaigns leading commander General Cornwallis, who was on Long Island ready to return to England thinking that he and his army had been victorious.
General Washington’s plan of attack was three pronged with multiple crossings of the frigid Delaware River to take place to the south of Trenton at Bristol, directly across from Trenton at Morrisville, and to the north at what is now Washington’s Crossing. The southern crossing failed because of the extreme weather, as did the attempt to cross at Morrisville. The crossing under General Washington’s command was accomplished but ran late also because of the challenge of the severe weather. Nonetheless, his suffering army made their way south towards Trenton and the encamped Hessian mercenaries. The combination of the severe weather and the celebrating that took place within the Hessian ranks allowed Washington’s army to arrive in an unexpected fashion, the result was a rapid ninety minute victory at Trenton for the Continental Army, and turned the tide of the Revolution.
The price to the American volunteers was two soldiers frozen to death, and two fatalities due to gunshot wounds. Washington was to say that those men who marched under the worst of conditions, with feel bleeding and wrapped in cloth that left bloody foot prints in the snow, were equally heroic to those who fell in hostilities.
The significance of the Battle of Trenton cannot be understated, in fact, upon his ultimate surrender of the British forces at Yorktown, Cornwallis offered a toast to General Washington; “Excellency, when history recounts the tails of this glorious epic, your brightest laurels will not be gathered from the Chesapeake, but from the banks of the Delaware”. Cornwallis recognized that Washington’s terrible decision leading to the bloody footprints in the snow and the victory at Trenton, represented a genuine turning point in the war. Washington put it better when he noted that “This ragtag and bobtail army that stood in the snow and yanked the tail of the British Lion, then delivered three stunning victories in the ten days between December 25th, 1776 and January 4th 1777, in the middle of winter, is truly extraordinary”.
The answer to that question has been provided to me over that last year with my many interactions with the voting integrity grassroots soldiers that fight the good fight, against overwhelming odds, literally every moment of everyday…the answer is an unequivocal YES!
At some point in time I fully expect the voting integrity movement to have its victory at Trenton and who knows, maybe the pivotal moment will last no longer than ninety minutes.