July 3: A Day To Honor Custer’s FIRST Stand, At Gettysburg… And Reflect On How Our Greatest Strengths Can Be Our Fatal Flaws

Had George Armstrong Custer perished on July 3, 1863, he might well have become an iconic figure in Gettysburg history, showing how the ethics verdict on a lifetime is never settled until the final heartbeat. His story also commands us to realize the disturbing truth that whether we engage in admirable conduct or wrongful deeds is often less a consequence of our character than of the context in which that character is tested.

Custer, Gettysburg, and the Seven Enabling Virtues

On July 3, I always reflect on Custer’s grand heroism when his country needed it most, and how strange it is that he is best remembered for his worst blunder, when his greatest achievement was so much more important. I also think about how his life is a cautionary tale, reminding us of how easily our strengths can become our weaknesses, if we fail to understand how best to use them, or recognize when they are leading us astray.