Thursday, February 23, 2006

My Vote for the Real American Idol

Today is George Washington’s birthday. Yes, I always remember George Washington on his actual birthday…every year on February 22. If he were alive today, he would be 274 years old. Both Abe Lincoln and George Washington are two of our country’s greatest Presidents and both were born in the month of February. In spite of our country’s combining their birthdays into a “President’s Day” holiday, I still feel it’s wrong not to recognize both of these great men individually on their special days. It’s a shame we live in a society where President’s Day is merely thought of as a day off from work or a great sale at the mall. As the world today blasts and criticizes the Office of our President, can we for one moment remember and recognize one great man and an enormously respected one at that. The Father of Our Country, Commander and Chief of the Continental Army, the first President of the United States, the man who led and kept our forefathers together so that we actually have a US Government, which despite its problems is still the greatest government in the world! George Washington was described by his friend, Congressman Henry Lee as “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen”. The man was numero uno!! I’ve told you all before, I have been raised with a love of American History, which makes it easily understandable why I’m a fan of the real GW. I’ve visited his beautiful home at Mount Vernon, where I’ve walked the amazing grounds surrounding it. I’ve overlooked the same beautiful rear yard that he once overlooked with its magnificent scenic view of the James River below. I’ve stood at his gravesite and imagined how many famous historical figures stood at the same spot and paid their respects. I’ve gazed at GW’s large and revered wooden chair that sets on display in the Assembly Room front and center at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The chair of a great leader, a great man who presided passionately over the Continental Convention. Yes, the chair really does have a carving of a “rising sun” on its headrest. I’ve also visited his small stone Headquarters house at Valley Forge, not to mention I’ve stood at the site of his famous icy Christmas night Delaware River Crossing. I’ve nestled myself into his marked church pew at Christ’s Church in Philadelphia, which I might add is directly across the aisle and around a column from Betsy Ross’s pew. Very cool place…and a very pretty church I might add. I’ve eaten at Philadelphia’s City Tavern, said to be where GW and the other forefathers grabbed lunch or dinner just a stone’s throw away and short cobblestone walk from Independence Hall. It’s awesome!

George Washington, the man, was best known for his integrity, honesty and passion in developing a strong central U.S. government. He was humble, not seeking fame, for it was the confidence of others in him that led him to achieve greatness. Read about him sometime…or maybe care enough to visit the places he made famous.

Happy Birthday George!


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