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The Battle of White Plains

October 31, 2012

This past Sunday was the 236th Anniversary of the Battle of White Plains. After celebrating Heritage Day at the White Plains Presbyterian Church, some of us headed over to the Jacob and Abagail Purdy House for a memorial celebration of the Battle.

August dressed his part as a young General George Washington. He enlisted with the local troops and was paid in script. He also auditioned for the role of drummer with the soldiers.

It was a windy day as we waited for Hurricane Sandy to arrive. Last year during the memorial celebration, we were waiting for a crazy, October snowstorm.

The local historians all recalled that freaky weather (snow) was a feature of the original battle.

Here is the invocation I offered as we began:


God of history and all that happens:

   we recall today not just the military moves

   we know as the battle of White Plains,

but the ideals that moved the men and women

   to aspire to something new:

A government of, by, and for the people;

   a republic of virtue pursuing the common good,

   and a democratic tradition which

   protects the common good when virtue fails.

In the last 236 years

   these ideals have been sore tested

   and we have often failed them.

As we recall today the choices made by families in this town,

   acts of soldiers, generals, governments and congresses

   which ushered in this new nation,

Remind us that important choices come to us in every age.

   Bring to mind the decisions we face today

   In the pursuit of peace, freedom, justice and the common good

   And give us the courage to make them.

Inspired by our past, may we make a future for all. Amen.

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