Wednesday, December 14, 2016

On this date... 1799, George Washington, the father of our country, passed away after a short illness. To mark the anniversary, the people of George Washington's Mount Vernon published this today.

The last time I visited Mount Vernon I became choked up when standing in the bed room in which Washington died. Having read many accounts of the death scene, I knew that his passing was as noble and unassuming as the man himself had become over the course of his life.

Historian Garry Wills once asserted that Washington was the greatest political leader in the history of the world. I agree. By his example, he demonstrated that executive leadership need not be authoritarian and that it can be passed along to a successor democratically and peacefully. Every American owes Washington an enormous debt of gratitude.

There are two Washington biographies I especially recommend:
Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow
Patriarch: George Washington and the New American Nation by Richard Norton Smith
[Blogger Mark Daniels is pastor of Living Water Lutheran Church in Centerville, Ohio.]

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