February 17, 2008 - White Plains, NY.
It was a cold day, with just enough of a breeze to make it uncomfortable to be outdoors for very long. Nevertheless, many faithful celebrants attended George Washington’s 276th Birthday Celebration at the Jacob Purdy House, his onetime headquarters in White Plains during the Revolutionary War.
The day’s program included the raising of the flag, pledge of allegiance, and musket fire salute by about a dozen Revolutionary War re-enactors. White Plains Historical Society President Rob Hoch acknowledged local politicians and community activists and thanked everyone for attending. The Society’s Vice President John Vorperian made some brief remarks about the most remarkable General and President George Washington, who made history before, during, and after the war. Most notable was the precedent he set by serving just two terms as President of the United States, despite the fact that a third term would have been his without opposition.
In his farewell address, Washington gave his thoughts on unity and patriotism:
Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of american, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the Independence and Liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts, of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.
All were invited inside for birthday cake, cookies, mulled cider and other refreshments. Entertainment was provided by an ensemble from Manhattanville College, playing period music. Kids ranging in age from 4 to 94 socialized upon the same floorboards once traversed by our honored birthday boy. A grand time was had by all.
Admission was free.