THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE FOR THE UNITED STATES
New York City (JFK+50) On January 20, 1961, President John F. Kennedy challenged the American people to "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." Two hundred and forty years ago today, September 22, 1776, twenty-one year old Nathan Hale* was required to make the ultimate sacrifice for his country. When asked by his British captors if he had any final words Hale, a spy for General George Washington on Long Island, New York, said...
"I only regret I have but one life to lose for my country."
The British military leaders on Long Island were alerted to Mr. Hale's true identity and took him into custody at Flushing Bay in Queens, New York.
After sketches of British fortifications on Long Island were found in Hale's possession, he was taken before British General William Howe who ordered the execution.
Eyewitness to History gives the account of Captain William Hull who talked with a British officer who witnessed the execution. The officer told Hull that..."Captain Hale...was calm, and bore himself with gentle dignity..."
Nathan Hale was officially designated as the "State Hero" of the state of Connecticut in 1985.
*Nathan Hale (1755-1776) was born in Coventry, Connecticut. He graduated from Yale College in 1773 & became a teacher. In 1755, he joined the Connecticut Militia & soon was commissioned 1st Lieutenant in the 7th Connecticut Regiment.
Mr. Hale served as a spy for General Washington on Long Island but was discovered & taken into custody by the British.
"The Execution of Nathan Hale, 1776," www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/