Greetings from the East
Greetings from the East,
My brothers, by the time you read this communication, the month of February will have passed but I want to share with you an insightful and forceful message from Past Master Ronald Bollheimer with full attribution. Please enjoy the message as much as I did.
“In this month of Washington’s Birthday, I thought it relevant to share a little about Washington the man and Washington the Mason. Initiated an Entered Apprentice Mason in the Lodge of Fredericksburg, Virginia, in November of 1752, he was Passed in March and Raised in August of 1753 in that same Lodge. He was proud of his membership, saying, “The object of Freemasonry is to promote the happiness of the human race,” and in 1788 served as first Master of what is now known as Alexandria-Washington Lodge. It was perhaps inevitable that, after Washington’s magnificent contributions to the nation during the Revolutionary period, he should be named a Virginia Delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, whereas Presiding Officer he played a key role in the success of the Convention and ultimately became our first President in 1789. Washington thus became the first Master of a Masonic Lodge to become President, holding, for a time, both that high office and that of Worshipful Master of his Lodge, a rare distinction indeed. Washington’s words upon becoming President reflect well his philosophy: “Integrity and firmness are all that I can promise.” What more could a nation ask?
From the very beginning, Masonry has been closely associated with the history of our nation. This was never more dramatically evidenced than in 1793 when, wearing a Masonic apron presented to him by General Lafayette and embroidered by Madame Lafayette, Washington, in a Masonic ceremony, laid the cornerstone of the United States Capitol at Washington, D.C. In August of 1790, in a letter to King David Lodge, Newport, Rhode Island, Washington wrote: “Being persuaded that a just application of the principles, on which the Masonic fraternity is founded, must be promotive of private virtue and public prosperity, I shall always be happy to advance the interests of the society and to be considered by them as a deserving brother.” Washington had a deep sense of national union. In a response to an address of Charleston, South Carolina, Masons, he said: “The fabric of our freedom is placed on the enduring basis of public virtue, and will, I fondly hope, long continue to protect the prosperity of the architects who raised it.” In Washington’s famous Farewell Address on his retirement from public life, he emphasized that the responsibility for America’s destiny rests directly upon its citizens and he urged Americans to forge a nation of high principles: “Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct.” Washington served both God and man with the firmness of his convictions. During the darkest days of the Revolution and the cruel winter at Valley Forge, it was Washington who stood firm in the face of adversity and knelt for prayer in the snow to reaffirm his faith in God and seek divine assistance in the justice of his cause. As his hope was in God, so must we, too, place our hope in God. Washington carried in his heart the ideals of liberty, justice and freedom. As Masons, we must likewise carry forward those same ideals. Much more could be said about this great American, but I believe the facts speak for themselves far more eloquently than any tribute I might be able to offer- “First in war, first in peace and `indeed’ first in the hearts of his countrymen.”
Trenton Cyrus Lodge #5 F&AM Reprinted from Masonic Americana, 1976, pages 5-6 “Heartbeat of America...”
Sincerely & Fraternally
Kent C. James, WM
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