Remembering George Washington
President George W. Bush Visits Mount Vernon
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8
February 19, 2007
This Presidents' Day, President George W. Bush traveled to Mount Vernon to give an address honoring the life of George Washington. Washington, who was born 275 years ago, at his home in Mount Vernon. As a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps, I made my way to the press box to hear what the 43rd President had to say about our nation’s first President.
"I feel right at home here," Bush told the crowd. "After all, this is the home of the first George W."
The morning got off to an exciting start, as three green and white helicopters landed on the Mount Vernon Bowling Green. Dozens of Secret Service men and women began to guide the crowd, as the president exited one of the helicopters.
The President was eventually introduced and began his address. His speech brought together America's past and present, pointing out Washington's influence on the lives of Americans today.
"George Washington's long struggle for freedom has inspired generations of Americans to stand for freedom in their own time," said Bush.
The President compared the struggle of the Continental Congress and the Revolutionary War with the war in Iraq. According to Bush, the conflict in Iraq is a test of will for Americans, just like the Revolutionary War was. Once again, Americans will prove that their will is unbreakable.
"And as we work to advance the cause of freedom around the world," said Bush, "we remember that the father of our country believed that the freedoms we secured in our revolution were not meant for Americans alone."
In closing, he encouraged the crowd to visit Mount Vernon often and to take advantage of its beauty. He himself had visited Mount Vernon as a teenager. As a parent, he often brought his daughters when they were younger.
I spent the rest of my time at Mount Vernon exploring the grounds. A George Washington re-enactor at the event stood over six feet tall. I asked him how he thought America was able to defeat the powerful British army.
According to Washington, the victory was possible thanks to "America’s ability to persevere and endure through very trying times." He also believed there was another reason for America's success—“divine providence and intervention.”
I left Mount Vernon with an amazing history lesson about George Washington from our 43rd President and inspiring words of encouragement from our first President. I'll always remember Presidents' Day at Mount Vernon.