What state is sometimes called the "Old Dominion"? Virginia. It is also known as "The Mother of Presidents." People of Virginia are proud of their heritage as citizens of this historic state. There is an old tradition that parents in Virginia tell their childrenn, "Never embarrass anyone by asking them where they are from. If they are from Virginia they will soon tell you."
We have just returned from a visit with our daughter and her family in the historic city of Lexington, Virginia. Two of the South's greatest heroes of the War Between the States lie buried in Lexington. Robert E. Lee is acknowledged to be the greatest General of The War between the States, although he and his gallant armies went down to defeat. After the war, General Lee turned down an offer of a position paying $25,000 a year from an insurance company who wanted to use his name to sell insurance policies. He then accepted the position as President of a very small school at Lexington, Virginia named Washington College at a salary of $150 a month. General Lee is buried in the chapel on the campus of Washington & Lee University which is visited by thousands of people each year. Stonewall Jackson was Professor of Military Tactics at Virginia Military Institute at Lexingt on when the War began. When he was killed by his own men in the dark following the Battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, his body was brought home to Lexington and placed in a crypt in the local cemetery.
General Robert E. Lee has been honored by the people of Virginia by having his statue placed in the Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C. I suppose you all know the name of the other famous Virginian whose statue stands in Statuary Hall along with General Lee. Can you name him? Gene ral George Washington. General George Washington is well recognized as the outstanding personality of the Revolutionary War period. One noted historian said that Benjamin Franklin of Philadelphia was the number one man in guiding the Colonies through war and the turmoil of setting up a stable government. There is no question that Benjamin Franklin was probably the greatest intellect among the founding fathers, but I firmly believe and most historians agree that without the steady han d, the iron will and the indomitable courage of the Squire of Mount Vernon, there would have been no victorious war for us to celebrate.
If you visit the nation's Capitol in Washington and take a guided tour through this historic building, you will be shown a place in the center of one of the corridors where a crypt was prepared when the capital was built. It stands empty. The builders had this crypt built to house the tomb of George Washington w hen he died. But General Washington had a different idea-when he died his will specified that he and his wife Martha were to be buried in a tomb at Mount Vernon, his beloved home on the banks of the Potomac River just south of Alexandria, Virginia.
General Washington served seven years as Commander in Chief of the Continental Armies and refused to accept any pay. He told the Continental Congress "I do not wish to make any profit from this position. I will keep an exact account of my expenses and that is all I desire." Three years after leaving the Presidency, General Washington died from a cold and infected throat. An artic le in the newspapers a few days ago told of the treatment the 3 doctors prescribed for the General. It consisted mostly of bleeding the patient, which was an accepted medical practice of that day. When the bleeding did not help, and it was evident that Gen. Washington had trouble breathing, one of the doctors, a young man, suggested an opening in the throat be made to improve his breathing and called attention to the fact that this type of throat surgery had been tried in England. It is called a tracheotomy. The older doctors refused to try this new type of surgery, which might have saved the life of General Washington.
So down through the years, our statesmen and historians continue to stress the greatness of this man. One of our other great presidents had this to say about the father of our country. "To add brightness to the sun or glory to the name of Washington is alike impossible. Let none attempt it." These words came from the pen of Abraham Lincoln.

Post a Comment