In memory of the most brilliant soldier in the Continental Army, who was desperately wounded on this spot, 7th October, 1777, winning for his countrymen the decisive battle of the American Revolution.
The words above, etched on a monument in Saratoga National Historical Park, New York State, refer to Benedict Arnold. Once a hero, he ultimately betrayed his country, plotting to turn West Point and 4000 lives over to the British for the equivalent of $600,000.
What is it in the heart of man, that turns them from hero to villain?
Was it the wounds he received, nearly losing his leg? Sitting at home and hearing tales of others called hero, feeling that title slip from his grasp? His desire for greatness and wealth and willingness to use any means in which to attain it?
Seeing five others promoted over him, a bruise upon his pride? Was it the cool slap of betrayal he felt by his own country as they brought him up for court marshall? Or the public reprimand from President Washington, followed by his private plea for Arnold to return to his noble ways?
There are many ways to dismantle a man, but who knows what resides in the heart, that turns them from hero to villain?
Pictured above: A puppet of Benedict Arnold, created by a 5th grader at Logan's school.