George Washington — We Still Stand on the Shoulders of this Giant — Happy Birthday, Mr. President!

Jim Sills Jim Sills

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Remember the name… George Washington… on this his Birthday, February 22, 1732.   He led an unprofessional, undisciplined Army against the greatest military and economic force on Earth: the British Empire.

He was among the richest Men in America.  He could have stayed home in the comfort and security of his Mansion, or Toured the world in style.  Instead, he spent six years touring  forests and swamps while shivering in the cold !  This proud man willingly kneeled in prayer, asking that God preserve the infant nation with whose care he was entrusted.

His brilliant mind grasped that British forces in America were at the end of a 3000-mile-long supply line, and even that depended on wind-powered sailing ships.  If only he could keep Armies in the Field, in the vastness of a mostly-unsettled America, he would bleed the British into defeat.

When he captured all of Lord Cornwallis’ army intact at Yorktown, Virginia in 1781, it was the blow that made Britain finally accept that he was right.

When the War ended, King George III asked his envoys what George Washington was doing. They told him Washington had retired from public life. George III was incredulous. Were they sure? Yes, his ambassadors replied, General Washington resigned his command of the Continental Army and returned to Mount Vernon.

George III was completely stunned. He leaned back in his chair and said, “If this be true, then George Washington must be the greatest man in the world.”

George Washington was too noble for such mundane plans as making himself king or dictator.  That was beneath him.  Not for nothing did his fellows name him the “Father of His Country.”

Washington did it again in 1797 (voluntarily walking away from undisputed power) at the end of his presidency. He told his friends, “Gentlemen, if you wish to speak to me again, it will be under my own Fig and Vine.”

The other founders gladly gave Washington control of the Army because they knew he could be trusted with power, that he would never use it for his personal gain.

Let us remember the real reason for Presidents Day: to honor those patriots who preserved our country. George Washington was the Greatest American who ever Lived, and it was truly a Blessing that God put him here when he was needed the most.  Happy Birthday, Mr. President!

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