Presidents’ Day comes during a quite extraordinary chapter in the history of the American presidency. One might do well to recall and reflect on the character and achievements of our first president, George Washington.
Washington was the foremost of our Founding Fathers. He was a citizen-soldier who commanded the army that paved the way toward independence. His very presence, as well as his chairmanship of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, were crucial to the framing of the United States Constitution and the subsequent ordering of the federal government. The well-proven integrity and trustworthiness of the man brought him to the office of president, and from his character came some of the finest attributes of the presidential office.
Washington was a reserved, plainspoken and well-respected Virginia gentleman planter who left his beloved Mount Vernon because of his dedication to the freedom and well-being of his fellow Virginians and the American people. His humaneness, dignity and sound judgment figured in why he was admired and respected in America and Europe.
“First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen.” His successors were and still are obliged to honor and sustain his legacy.
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Robert E. Toohey