Monday, February 22, 2016

Words About and by George Washington

George Washington lived at  Pope's Creek, Virginia from 1732-1735. It was his birthplace.

The general, by his own choice received no pay during the Revolution.

The Battle of Brandywine was fought on September 11, 1777.

This statue found at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania depicts the "Father of our Country" wearing his military uniform but carries a civilian walking cane rather than his sword, which has been set aside. He stands by a farmer's plowshare, a symbol of his love of peace and agriculture.  He rests his hand on a bundle of rods called fasces, a Roman symbol of civilian authority.  Here the thirteen rods represent the joining of the original states and the strength gained fro that unity.  This description was obtained from the nps signage at the site.

I spotted George Washington and a few of his troops a few years back in New Hope, Pennsylvania coming out of an ice cream store. We spoke briefly and he told me he had earlier that day been at a rehearsal for the "Crossing of the Delaware". His spirit lives on from that great victory, so much so that it is repeated every year.

You can read Washington's full reply Moses Seixas at this Library of Congress link.

"First in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen." Henry "Light-Horse Harry was the father of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

I had always heard that the construction of the Washington monument ceased during the Civil War because the country ran out of money due to the war, hence the two toned color of the monument.  Now I have read a most interesting account. Money had indeed ran out but Congress had agreed to appropriate $200,000 towards the project along with contributions from other sources but rescinded the offer because of the reaction of one stone contribution. Pope Pius IX donated a marble stone and members of the anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant American Party--better known as the "Know-Nothings"--stole the Pope's stone as a protest and supposedly threw it into the Potomac.You can read the entire story "Determining the Facts" at the website.

Washington sought not the security of power but the power to secure America's independence, to build a nation devoted to freedom and human dignity. I think more than any other President, he shaped the contours of the Presidency. He established a model and set precedence that has served us well, and no wonder he is remembered as the Father of our Country. Citation: George Bush: "Remarks at the Dedication Ceremony of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota," July 3, 1991. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.

"Freedom is a light for which many men have died in darkness"
"The independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint councils and joint efforts of common dangers, suffering and success" (Washington Farewell Address), Sept. 17, 1796).

It is a tradition in the U.S. Senate to select a member alternating parties to read Washington's Farewell Address on February 22. This year (2016) the Senator from Delaware, Mr. Coons will read the speech.

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