To the memory of the Man, first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his fellow-citizens. ~ Resolutions presented to the United States’ House of Representatives, on the Death of Washington, December, 1799.
The preceding quote by Henry Lee comes closest to encapsulating the valuable and indispensable services of George Washington. In remembering our founding fathers and history, Washington was and is indeed the first:
- He organized, trained and led an army of ragtag citizen soldiers through defeats, retreats and the miserable winter of Valley Forge.
- He emerged from those first bad experiences, forged an unlikely alliance with the French and literally threw the British out of our country.
- He led the Constitutional Convention, which gave us a founding document that has endured since 1789 as the basis of our personal and political freedoms.
- He was our first and only president who was unanimously elected.
- He could have served for life, but chose to give up power after two terms. Everything he did as president set both the precedent and standard for his 44 successors.
In the Hearts of His Fellow Citizens:
- When he lived, he was the principal figure that brought unity and stability to our young nation.
- After his death, no other president would be as famous or held in higher regard by every American.
- Washington’s name adorns our nation’s capital, a state, numerous counties, cities, roads and buildings, and our money.
Washington’s love for the country he served so faithfully is expressed in his own farewell address to the people of the United States just before he left office in 1796:
In looking forward to the moment which is intended to terminate the career of my public life, my feelings do not permit me to suspend the deep acknowledgment of that debt of gratitude which I owe to my beloved country for the many honors it has conferred upon me…
Was ever so humble a statement made by such a great man? He was first in the hearts of his countrymen, because his countrymen’s liberty was foremost in every act of his public life.
Now this is an example of a true Patriot President we can all be proud of.
At *your* service,