Lt. Alonzo Cushing – Hard Fought Legacy
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.
Lt. Cushing, an Artillery Officer in the Union Army, fought on the front lines, right up to the climax of the battle at Gettysburg. After sustaining 3 debilitating injuries, he still refused to retreat from the front lines, even after ordered to do so. He first took a shell fragment through his shoulder, then one to the abdomen, exposing his intestines. Holding them in with one hand, he fought still, until he ultimately took a bullet directly through his mouth, out through the back of his skull, killing him on the 3rd and final day of the historic battle.
I could write about the indescribable boldness Cushing displayed and how that should model for us as men. How just plain tough this guy was and the courage he displayed. But what stuck out to me was his timeline…
Cushing graduated from the United States Military Academy (West Point) in 1861 at 20 years old. 2 years later, he was on the front lines in one of the most historically significant battles in U.S history. 3 days in, 3 consecutive injuries, finally dying at 22 years old. Fast forward to the late 1980’s Cushing was nominated for the Medal of Honor. Just moving through the process, that nomination would not turn into an actual award until November 2014. So, what’s the point?
Cushing only lived for 22 years. Walked into one of the most massive battles 2 years out of the academy. Within one day, he elevated himself to a level of heroism that would span generations. His actions that took hours to display, impacted those around him for decades. He had people working to commemorate his efforts over 150 years after he died. The process to award him the Medal of Honor alone took longer than he even lived.
What made him fight that hard? What pushed him to stand for something that strongly? Legacy. I have to believe most, if not all of the men that stepped onto that battlefield, knew their likely fate. Yet they did so anyway, as to leave the legacy they believed would promote generations to come. We, as kingdom men, can take action that may take hours, but can leave an impression for generations. This really hits home as I know I have this impression on a daily basis with my 2 sons. What lasting impression am I leaving?
Today’s Training: Pray on who you can and will create a legacy for. Think about those small, quick moments that may have a lasting impression on generations to come. Are you doing those things? Are the impressions you are leaving good ones?