He created, and awarded three of the badge of merits, that would become the Purple Heart. His name was General George Washington. Today, on what we call President’s Day, we celebrate Washington’s birth.
The day, now widely regarded as an honor to all the men who followed after, began as the office did. It all started with George Washington. One stalwart American, a simple Virginian Veteran, laid out the course every other leader would follow.
From Lincoln to Roosevelt, each of our Presidents have attempted to follow in his footsteps. His goal was to do his best, and for that I am truly grateful. That’s all any of them have attempted to accomplish.
Yet, rather than dwell on any’s mistakes, I prefer to look what they’ve accomplished. The Stars and Stripes still fly, we can truly still sing from sea to shining sea, and liberty still beats in every American heart. That is the gift of Washington.
He painted something far greater than the portrait on our medals, coins, and bills. He painted the idea that every American, whether their beginnings were humble or great, can achieve the American Dream. A vision, not based on prosperity, but of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
His gift, like his presidency, was not of a fully formed idea, but the space to complete the ideals they fought for. He wasn’t only our first President, he was the veteran of a war that could have taken everything from him. Yet he believed in it so deeply, he embraced the call.
So today, as each American builds their own mental amount Rushmore. As we all assemble our favorite President’s lists, may they all have one thing in common. May each begin like our Purple Heart, and the granite monument, with Washington at the forefront.