American social studies books are pathetically thin nowadays. The “meat” of our history is missing. Most of George Washington’s history is missing too. Most people recognize the pictures of Washington at the end of his life. Not long ago a neighbor visited, who is a young Social Studies teacher. He asked who the man was in the picture on our refrigerator. We told him it was a famous photo titled, George Washington, 1779. It is a great oil portrait that the young people in our country would not recognize because it is not in their history books. I would prefer to remember Washington in that portrait in his General’s uniform leaning on a cannon. That personifies our first president. He was a real hero who was not afraid of battle. When he was a 23-year-old Colonel fighting in the French and Indian War, he was ambushed by Indians. The natives were told to shoot down the tall man on the horse. Men on every side were falling. Washington would have 4 musket-balls shot through his coat and 2 horses killed. He would survive to become the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army and our first President. He set the precedent for the first office of the presidency. Personally, I don’t believe we have had another leader like President Washington. Even King George III of England was amazed that Washington would go back to his farm on Mt. Vernon after serving 8 years as our nation’s first executive. He is the best role model that America has for leadership.
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