Normally a “Sunday driver,” I have driven around 2,000 miles in the last two weeks. A week and a half ago, I drove from New York to Charlottesville, Virginia to visit ES for a couple of days. While I was there, we also drove to Richmond and back. This past weekend, I drove to Philadelphia to visit a college friend.
I drove entirely different routes in my travels but noticed that both the New Jersey and Pennsylvania highways include a rest stop named for Molly Pitcher. I wondered if she would have been offended by this legacy.
When I was in elementary school, I voraciously read a series of child biographies. I tried to find them now; this was the closest I came:
Molly Pitcher was the nickname of a woman (Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley) who followed her husband into the Revolutionary War and brought water to the men while they were fighting. Her moment of glory occurred when her husband was injured during a battle, and she took over his spot at the cannon to continue the fight. She earned a Sergeant’s commission as a result of her heroism and is said to have been honored by George Washington.
While I initially thought that she might have been slighted at the “honor” of these rest stops, I realized that they are actually perfectly fitting! The rest stops are the modern version of helping people and making sure they’re refreshed.
Now I can put my sarcasm to the side and believe that she would have been pleased with these honors.