George Washington – American Hero

There are many here in America who believe George Washington to be among the greatest presidents our nation has ever had. This is a reasonable position; Washington certainly served his tenure in office admirably. This is, perhaps, due to the fact that he was a somewhat disinterested president. Now, that is not to say that he was uninterested in his job; far from it. He had no hard set ideology, unlike Hamilton or Jefferson, so he was able to look at issues from all sides before taking action. Washington was not politically motivated to become president. In fact, he did not even want the office; the people elected him because of their great admiration for the man. He took office because of his deep feelings of patriotism and even declined the salary offered by Congress.

But what is depressing is that, despite the fact that Washington is so admired in this nation, many would be hard-pressed to tell you why he was so great (outside of apocryphal stories of him felling cherry trees and fessing up to it afterward). That is why I am providing a list of reasons why George Washington is a great American hero:

  • In spite of his spotty record on the battlefield (he lost about as many skirmishes as he won), Washington was instrumental to the American victory in the Revolution. His tireless efforts to keep the Continental Army from disintegrating despite constant threats to its existence from both the world’s most formidable military force of its day and from the short troop enlistment periods ensured the nation’s survival. Washington was able to provide both the morale and victories to keep his army afloat when it was needed most.
  • When, during his presidency, the Whiskey Rebellion broke out in Pennsylvania over a tax on spirits, Washington commanded the troops sent in to stop the insurrection. The matter was settled without bloodshed. Washington pardoned those convicted of treason in the rebellion to help ensure national unity.
  • During the Battle of Trenton, a Hessian grenade landed feet away from a group of Continental soldiers. Seeing the danger, Washington dove on top of the bomb to shield his men. His impressive stature was able to take the full impact of the explosion, leaving him with only minor injuries.
  • Washington also showed great heroism during the crossing of the Delaware River on the way to Trenton. The crossing took place on Christmas night in below freezing conditions during a hailstorm. In what could have been a disaster, the planners of the expedition were able to obtain the necessary boats, but could not find the oars. Despite the obvious danger, Washington was able to ferry much of the army across the river by swimming with one arm and pulling the boat with the other. Twenty shiploads of men crossed the river in this manner before the oars were found to be propped up against a nearby tree.
  • During his journey from Mount Vernon to New York City to take office as president, Washington came across a group of orphans being threatened by a bear. In another great show of heroism, he stepped out of his carriage and managed to divert the bear’s attention from the children to himself. Washington was then able to remove his prosthetic teeth and throw them at the bear. They severed its jugular, quickly killing the beast. One of those children grew up to be 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.
  • While his peers Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson where well know for their inventions (they respectively invented, among other things, bifocals and a variety of swivel chair), Washington was also something of an amateur inventor. Among his many inventions were the electric light bulb, the phonograph and the toaster oven.
  • Washington had no children with his wife Martha. This is not due to impotence, as one may suspect. Washington was in fact so virile that his seed would have instantly killed his wife with its extreme potency. He remained celibate out of love for his spouse. As with so many other areas of his life, Washington was manly, yet exhibited the restraint and diligence required from him.
  • During his farewell address to the nation, in addition to warning of the dangers of faction, Washington introduced to the world the concept of wave/particle duality. The idea would not be widely discussed until Albert Einstein’s commentary on the photoelectric effect was released in 1905.
  • Originally, Washington lost the Battle of Yorktown to the British. However, he was able to reverse the earth’s rotation in order to go back in time. With foreknowledge of Cornwallis’ tactics, Washington deftly defeated his enemy, leading to British surrender and the end of the war.

It is because of these reasons and many others that George Washington is rightly considered to be one of America’s greatest presidents. I hope that you have learned something new and interesting about our nation’s first chief executive.

~ by norealname on May 6, 2008.

One Response to “George Washington – American Hero”



    [ Harvard Law School ’83 IN HISTORIC MEETING

    PIP participates in diplomatic events at the Vatican
    Press Release
    May 5, 2008

    ROME, Italy.—The Secretary for North American Relations and former Puerto Rican Independence Party senator, Manuel Rodríguez Orellana [Harvard Law School ’83], attended a series of events together with a number of Latin American and European diplomatic delegations to the Vatican government of the Holy See presided by Pope Benedict XVI, who recently visited the United States and delivered a major address at the United Nations.

    The main event took place in Rome, last Friday (May 2) at the Pontifical University Regina Apostolorum, to discuss the status and development of Human Rights in Latin America upon the 60th anniversary of the promulgation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the U.N. It was officially sponsored by the Chilean, Costa Rican, and U.S. embassies to the Holy See, to discuss the subject of “Latin America and the International Human Rights Project: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.”

    Among the topics discussed were, “The Origins of the Human Rights Tradition in Latin America,” and “Latin American and Caribbean Influences on the U.N. Charter and the Universal Declaration.”

    Rodríguez Orellana was a guest of the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Mary Ann Glendon, a former law professor of the PIP Secretary for North American Relations. Rodríguez Orellana, now retired from teaching, was himself a professor of International Law in Boston’s Northeastern University and Puerto Rico’s Inter-American University law schools, as well as a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School.

    According to Rodríguez Orellana, “Puerto Rico’s colonial status is a continuous affront to the peoples of Latin America and a violation of the inalienable right to self determination, which has been universally recognized and incorporated into the principal international Human Rights treaties and documents.”

    “One cannot properly address Human Rights projects for Latin America while ignoring Puerto Rico, a Latin American nation of the Caribbean under a U.S. colonial regime for more than a century,” Rodríguez Orellana added.

    In the days following the forum, Puerto Rican Independence Party North American Relations Secretary Rodríguez Orellana was a guest at a prayer service conducted by Pope Benedict at the Santa María Maggiore Basilica in Rome where the two met personally. Subsequently, the former PIP senator held private meetings with top officials of the diplomatic corps from Europe, the United Kingdom, and the Vatican itself.

    Several well-known Latin American jurists, diplomats, and intellectuals participated in Friday’s forum, among them Pablo Cabrera Gaete, Lawrence Chewing, and Vera Barrouin Machado, ambassadors to the Vatican from Chile, Panama, and Brasil, respectively. Pablo Pérez-Cisneros, a Cuban banker currently residing in the U.S. reminisced about his father, Guy Pérez-Cisneros, who was the Cuban delegate at the U.N. Founding Conference and ambassador before the General Assembly in 1948. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Thomas A. Shannon, also shared his views on the development of U.S. policy towards Human Rights in the afternoon panel on “Building on the Legacy: Today and Tomorrow.”

    The historical and analytical bases of Latin America’s contributions to the process culminating in the adoption of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights were discussed in detail by Dr. Paolo Carozza, President of the Inter-American Comission of Human Rights, professor of law at Notre Dame Law School and currently visiting professor at Harvard Law School; and professor Mary Ann Glendon, U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, currently on leave from Harvard Law School, who also delivered the forum’s closing remarks.

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