Mount Vernon was amazing, really something special.
I’ve said before that George Washington is my favorite Founding Father because he was reluctant to serve, and yet he rose to the great challenges before him. I can certainly see why he dreaded leaving his home on the Potomac. His servant's heart is an inspiration to us all.
When Piper laid the wreath at George Washington's tomb this afternoon, I wished that every American school student could be here to see and feel the spirit of our nation's first father. Even Piper was able to grasp the significance of being in the presence of our first President - who had such diverse interests - when she told me later "how hard he must have worked to keep that farm going!" And then she added, "And can you believe he was a commercial fisherman, from DC?!"
There's so much to learn and absorb at Mt. Vernon. Washington was a very busy man who had a healthy reluctance to serve as President after having dedicated so many precious years in service to others while he lead the military. When he accepted the call to be our nation's first chief executive, he served for the right reasons. Though he loved his home at Mt. Vernon so much, this self-taught, "non politician" was willing to sacrifice his passion for farming, fishing, trade and commerce in order to answer another call of to lead the new nation.
Visiting Washington's home today with fellow citizens from all across the country, including Maryland, Oklahoma, Michigan, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Idaho reminds us of our common bond. That bond can be summed up in Washington's prayer that you can find at his tomb. It reads in part, "I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would have the United States in his holy protection...to dispose us all to do Justice, to love mercy...which were the Characteristics of the Devine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation. Amen." (June 8, 1783)
I encourage every American to travel east to Mt. Vernon. Beautiful. Educational. Inspiring. Worth it. And the caretakers and tour guides there are superb. They're so proud that the estate, museum and gardens are privately operated and funded. Their patience with visitors and care for Washington's land and possessions is a testament to their passion for restoring a part of America's strong foundation. Their conscientious work is another reason to be proud to be American!
The Archives and Mount Vernon. Can you tell I'm fired up?!
- Sarah Palin