Presidents’ Day

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What better way to celebrate Presidents’ Day than at a statue of our Founding Father George Washington on George Washington Lane at the University of Washington in the State of Washington?

Today members of the public and patriotic organizations from across the area gathered for a commemoration of Presidents’ Day in Seattle. After a program and speech, participants surrounded the Washington Statue– just down the stairs from the By George Cafe– for a wreath laying ceremony.

Among the organizations represented were the SAR (Sons of the American Revolution), DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), and CAR (Children of the American Revolution). These people are direct descendants of American patriots, some of whom served with General, later President, George Washington.

The joint DAR/SAR color guard– both men and women participate– presented the colors at the start of the ceremony.

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Participants prepare to lay their wreaths as their names and/or organizations are called.

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For comparison, here is a photo of the George Washington statue unveiling at the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition on June 14th, 1909. Click on the photo to learn more about the statue’s origins. 

Washington Statue Unveiling 6-14-1909
From the UW Libraries Collection. Photographer Frank H. Nowell.

The various wreaths laid in honor of our first president, a man of great courage, compassion, and moral fortitude.

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SAR members stand proud. Many saluted as they came forward to lay their wreaths.

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The lower plaque was added to pedestal just a few years ago to tell its story. Funds for the statue were raised in part by the DAR and Washington State schoolchildren.

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Washington looks out over a city that, ironically, has largely lost its way. He fought for freedom and representation and justice. The Seattle metro area has developed into a bastion of government control and special interest influence that scarcely resembles the kind of country Washington fought for. Patriotic citizens who adhere to Washington’s principles are sometimes called radicals, extremists, and “far right” in this climate. It’s very backwards and it’s very sad. We often forget the terrible price that was paid for our freedoms and why it’s so important to preserve them.

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As I looked up a towering flagpole mottled with rust in a nearby memorial plaza, I saw George glancing down from our state flag with the Stars and Stripes billowing behind him. Damp wind whipping around the corners of nearby buildings, I thought to myself, “George, have we forgotten you? What would you say to us if you were still here?”

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I walked on, pulling my hat down as the weather became more ominous. The words that came into my head were not Washington’s but those of William Tyler Page. Page, a descendant of American patriots like most people gathered around the statue earlier, penned these words in 1917. They are not the words of a radical, bigot, or extremist; these are the words of a man who loves his country and wants it and all its hard-earned freedoms to endure.

I believe in the United States of America as a Government of the people by the people, for the people, whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a Republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect Union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.

I therefore believe it is my duty to my Country to love it; to support its Constitution; to obey its laws; to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies.

-William Tyler Page

Thank you George. May generations to come honor your legacy just as we did today.

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©2014 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

8 thoughts on “Presidents’ Day

    1. By saying that you know there are two primary schools of thought on what the Constitution was intended to be– a rock or a “living document” which should be adapted to the times.

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