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Illustration: Moral Courage, Influence

In his Tuesday Mornings newsletter for Jan. 25, 2005, Tom Barnard Asked, "Do you remember the legend of Molly Pitcher and her heroism in the Battle for Monmouth, New Jersey in June 1778, during the War for Independence? Her real name, more likely, was Mary Hays McCauly.

"According to the legend, Molly's husband served as an artilleryman under General Stirling. Their cannons were aimed at the British Redcoats as they attempted to cross a causeway. Stirling's cannons bought time for Gen. Washington to take command and regroup Gen. Lee's scattered forces. According to the legend, Molly accompanied William, her husband, in the fight against the British. While he helped reload the cannon to which he was assigned, Molly hauled an artillery bucket filled with water from a nearby spring to the troops. The men shouted, "Here comes Molly with her pitcher!" Thus, the nickname was given her—Molly Pitcher.

"It was a very hot summer day, and the issue of the battle was still in doubt. Neither side seemed able to gain an advantage. Victory was within the grasp of either army. During the fight, Molly's husband fell wounded. There was no one to take his place, and his cannon's crew prepared to abandon the field of battle. Without a moment's hesitation, says the legend, Molly laid the bucket aside and grabbed the rammer staff from her fallen husband's hand and began to swab and reload the cannon. She quickly mastered the technique and agility of a trained artilleryman. "The enemy is almost upon us!" cried one of the soldiers. "Stand fast," replied Molly. The cheers of her fellow soldiers rang down the line. The battle turned, and there in the ranks stood Molly Pitcher, a cannoneer…

"Morality is born in the hearts of men and women, and through them institutions are changed. And history is made.

"It is unlikely that modern-day Mollies will be forced into battles as the Revolutionary War, but it is very likely that women and men of this generation will be called upon to take up the battle against tyranny, secularism and moral corruption in our neighborhoods, cities and nation. Every generation needs leaders with a true moral compass."