Among the sites at this 727-acre space in Fort Lee NJ (which I photographed in July 2018) is this statue by Charles Tefft that evokes one of the most famous passages in Thomas Paine’s The American Crisis:
“These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.”
Every age has its “times that try men’s souls.” These days are ours—maybe not as dramatic as when Paine published his lines in December 1776, just 72 hours before Battle of Trenton, but still a time when the spirit of freedom needs to be defended.