THE IRON PEN by Daniel Hite

February 22, 2011

My Favorite President

Filed under: Uncategorized — danielhite @ 12:57 pm
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I frequently wear a lapel pin of my favorite president, General George Washington. Why? He is perhaps the greatest American who ever lived or will live. We celebrate his birthday today. In fact, this day is still a national holiday even though “President’s Day” has lumped them all into another generic Monday day off. Washington should still singly be remembered, though. Not only was he the first American President, but he set the presidential precedent and standard for all who followed. In spite of our

Henry Lee's funeral oration of Washington delivered to Congress on December 26, 1799

revisionist histories, there is so much extant data available that a cursory search would easily reveal the inadequacies of those “researchers” who would have us to believe Washington was an inconsistent, ordinary military man/farmer/slave owner of his day. The sheer weight of documented evidence certainly reveals the contrary. Guided by the hand of Providence, Washington lived, farmed, battled and politicked with grace, wisdom, courage, and magnanimity. His peers always spoke highly of his character as well as his presence. If you have ever read his farewell address, you would know of his great love and respect for his country as well as the prophetic foresight and counsel he offered. Although we celebrate his birth today, I would like to quote for his famous funeral eulogy by Henry Lee (father of Robert E. Lee):

First in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen, he was second to none in the humble and endearing scenes of private life. Pious, just, humane, temperate and sincere—uniform, dignified and commanding—his example was as edifying to all around him as were the effects of that example lasting. . . . Correct throughout, vice shuddered in his presence and virtue always felt his fostering hand. The purity of his private character gave effulgence to his public virtues. . . . Such was the man for whom our nation mourns.

Would to God that our current leaders would be spoken of so highly and so reverently. Today, character is so easily overlooked while accolades and accomplishments replace the comments of integrity and virtuosity. Today, being a “character” is certainly more popular than possessing it.

Take some time today to thank God for our leaders who do show moral and spiritual integrity in their lives and who have the interests of others above their own self-interests. These kind of leaders are few and far between. We need more Washingtons and Lincolns who lead with solid convictions and Godly wisdom. Washington is truly “first in the heart of this countryman.”


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