A Hero to Remember

December 1, 2011
By EmmaL SILVER, Cannon Falls, Minnesota
EmmaL SILVER, Cannon Falls, Minnesota
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

“I only regret, that I have but one life to lose for my country.” Those are the words of Nathan Hale moments before he was hanged. He was willing to to anything and everything for his country. We should be remembering and honoring the heroes’ stories, the reasons why they did it, and how their actions still impact our lives today.
Moments before he was hanged Nathan Hale was not fearful. He was only wishing that he could help more. We should be commemorating heroes like Nathan Hale. At a young age he gave up his comfortable life at home to fight in the revolution to protect the lives of others. The choices people like Nathan Hale made back then still impact people’s lives today.

Nathan Hale was the son of Richard and Elizabeth Hale and a brother to twelve. He attended Yale University with his oldest brother. He was among the top of his class. He eventually became a school teacher for higher education. Nathan was against the idea that women shouldn’t receive higher education like men. He decided to teach an extra class that allowed all women to participate in higher education as well.

When the was began in 1774, Nathan enlisted himself into his towns militia even though we was not of age yet. He greatly participated in the discussions to go to war. When the news of the battle of Lexington and Concord broke he acted instantaneously. “Let us march immediately,” he said, “and never lay down our arms until we obtain our independence.” He then resigned as a a teacher and joined in the fight for independence.

Nathan Hale started off with the title of lieutenant and worked his way up to planning missions with Washington. He was known for planning risky attacks that brought great value to the war effort. After he planned an attack that received critical war supplies Nathan was put into a special group known as “Knowlton’s Rangers.” They received orders from Washington and Putnam themselves.

On September 6th Washington wrote, “We have not been able to obtain the least information as to the enemy’s plans.” Washington asked Knowlton to gather a group of officers to go behind enemy lines and to try and obtain intelligence. There was a great silence when he asked the soldiers for a volunteer. Knowlton asked the oldest soldier if he was willing. He responded, “I am willing to be shot, but not to be hung.” Knowlton was about to inform Washington of his failure when the youngest of them all spoke up. “I will under take it,” said Nathan Hale. He had showed up late to the meeting because of being ill. When warned of the great dangers, he replied, “I wish to be useful, and every kind of service necessary to the public honorable by necessary. If the exigencies of my country demand a peculiar service, it’s claims to perform that service are imperious.”

Nathan Hale was sent as a spy with the cover of a schoolmaster going to New York to establish himself. After about a week he received the necessary intelligence. He went to the port on his day set for arrival. He saw what appeared to be his boat and signalled to it. However it turned out to be an English frigate. He attempted to flee but he was caught. Immediately they searched him and found British intelligence hidden in the soles of his shoes.

He was taken back to General Howe immediately. Nathan couldn’t have been caught at a worse time. There had been a great fire and the Americans were suspected. Nathan was set to be hanged the next morning. His last words were, “I only regret, that I have but one life to lose for my country.”
Even in his last moments of life Nathan Hale was not thinking of himself, but wishing he could help more. Nathan Hale is a true hero. He died for the cause. When his time came he was not afraid or regretful for his actions. His one regret was that he couldn’t do more. Imagine where we would be today without heroes like Nathan Hale. There is so much we have to honor them for. Nathan Hale, a hero to remember.

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