This past Memorial Day weekend, I was able to visit Philadelphia, and see many of the sights that I hadn’t seen since my childhood. The Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the National Constitution Center are truly inspiring, and if you haven’t visited them lately, I would suggest that you do.
In my humble opinion, the most fascinating place I visited on Memorial Day was the archeological dig that is taking place at the site of The President’s House, where Brother and President George Washington and President John Adams lived before the completion of the White House in 1800. At the site, you can stand on an elevated wooden platform in the middle of the remnants of the home, looking toward the entrance to the Liberty Bell Center and beyond it, at Independence Hall. When Brother Washington moved into the home, he directed that an bow window be built in the room at the end of the long hallway from the front door. He designated this room at the rear of the home the State Room, where he would receive visitors. He did not receive his visitors seated on a throne, or sitting behind a majestic desk, but standing. It was in this impressive manner that our First President received the great and the common, both from this nation and the rest of the world. That decision by Brother Washington to add the bow window to the State Room was the inspiration for the architecture of the White House and still later the Oval Office. To be able to spend just a few minutes standing over what remains of that first President’s House is something I will never forget.
Only minimal foundations remain of the home at the corner of 6th and Market, yet the foundations laid by Brother Washington are with us to this day. The lessons that Brother Washington learned as a Master Mason are evident in way he conducted himself as President.. He repeatedly refused any attempt to exercise dictatorial powers or to serve as a King, (which some people had proposed) and even though he would have been unchallenged for a third term as President, he felt that he should step aside and allow the democratic process that so many had died for, and that he believed in, continue as set forth in the Constitution.
Brethren, we need to be grateful that we can associate ourselves with so great and so good a man as Brother George Washington. Let us remember the lessons that we have learned as Master Masons, and the exemplary conduct of Brother Washington, and continually act, walk and conduct ourselves to the honor of the Supreme Architect of the Universe, our nation, our fraternity, and to the memory of Brother and President George Washington
God Bless You and Yours, God Bless Freemasonry, and God Bless our Nation,
Sincerely and Fraternally,
John F. Daugherty Jr, W.M