Monday, February 21, 2011

Presidents Day

Considering that it's cool enough to get to take work off, I figured President's day is one holiday that maybe I should stop and think about a little more in depth. I think it's one of those holidays that too often passes us by. I'll admit that I think about it just a little bit in that we're celebrating George Washington's and Abraham Lincoln's birthdays. I've always felt a little bit special that I share a birthday with George. So I do remember. :) But I've just been sitting here thinking, what makes it so that the birthdays of these two men are the most remembered out of more than 40 different presidents of our nation? I think most people would be quick to answer about what great leaders they were and what they did for our country, each in their own time. I would agree. But what made them that way?

These two men have long been on the list of my heroes and people that I admire and respect deeply. I truly believe that a large part of what made them so great was their humility and their conviction that they were simply instruments in the hands of an Almighty God. And believing that, they went and did what they needed to do. They acted on their beliefs and they stood up for what they knew to be right. Here are a few quotes that I feel show a little bit of the kind of men that they were:

"No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency."- George Washington

"I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would have you, and the State over which you preside, in his holy protection; that he would incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government; to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow citizens of the United States at large; and, particularly, for their brethren who have served in the Geld; and finally, that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacifick temper of the mind, which were the characteristicks of the divine Author of our blessed religion ; without an humble imitation of whose example, in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation." - George Washington

"I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of the Divine Being who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail. Trusting in Him who can go with me, and remain with you, and be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell." - Abraham Lincoln

"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!" - Abraham Lincoln I wish I could put so many more, because there are so many great things! My gratitude has increased as I've researched and read more about these two great leaders of our nation. I would encourage anyone to read more and learn more about these men for yourselves and come to understand why they deserve our admiration and appreciation for what they did for us.