Monday, October 12, 2015

U.S. HISTORY SPECIAL: BEST FUNERAL EULOGY EVER IN AMERICA - GEORGE WASHINGTON'S BY "LIGHT-HORSE HARRY" LEE

General Henry "Light-
Horse Harry" Lee
Following on a lead from a great friend and sister in Christ, who is both a descendant of General Robert E. Lee's brother and their dad - the Great American Revolutionary Hero General Henry "Light-Horse Harry" Lee, I came across this beautiful eulogy "Light-Horse" delivered at the funeral of America's first President  George Washington, which was just poetry in motion!

Now the funeral actually took place on the day after Christmas, December 26, 1799. However when you come across a gem like this, no use waiting for it to get lost in the Christmas rush and madness! Before I quote verbatim from General Lee's Eulogy, I must give some of Light-Horse Harry's creds:
Governor, 9th Governor of Virginia (1791-1794); Lieut. Col. in 1st Cont. Light Dragoons, Maj General Harry "Light Horse" Lee of Revolutionary War fame, 9th Governor of Virginia, Maj. General, Politician and Soldier, Governor of Virginia.

THE LIGHT-HORSE LEE EULOGY OF GENERAL WASHINGTON (edited for brevity). SUCH WORDS WILL NEVER BE HEARD AGAIN EXCEPT FOR THOSE FOR THE GREAT ABRAHAM LINCOLN:
George Washington's Funeral Procession  circa1799 (Pinterest)
The founder of our federate republic—our bulwark in war, our guide in peace, is no more! Oh, that this were but questionable! Hope, the comforter of the wretched, would pour into our agonizing hearts its balmy dew. But, alas! there is no hope for us; our Washington is removed forever! .....Will you go with me to the banks of the Monongahela, to see your youthful Washington supporting, in the dismal hour of Indian victory, the ill-fated Braddock, and saving, by his judgment and by his valor, the remains of a defeated army, pressed by the conquering savage foe? or when, oppressed America nobly resolving to risk her all in defense of her violated rights, he was elevated by the unanimous voice of Congress to the command of her armies? Will you follow him to the high grounds of Boston, where, to an undisciplined, courageous, and virtuous yeomanry, his presence gave the stability of system, and infused the invincibility of love of country? ....

Or will you view him in the precarious fields of Trenton, where deep gloom, unnerving every arm, reigned triumphant through our thinned, worn down, unaided ranks-himself unmoved? Dreadful was the night. It was about this time of winter. The storm raged. The Delaware, rolling furiously with floating ice, forbade the approach of man. Washington, selfcollected, viewed the tremendous scene. His country called. Unappalled by surrounding dangers, he passed to the hostile shore; he fought; he conquered. The morning sun cheered the American world. Our country rose on the event; and her dauntless chief, pursuing his blow, completed in the lawns of Princeton what his vast soul had conceived on the shores of Delaware....

The finger of an over-ruling Providence, pointing at Washington, was neither mistaken or unobserved, when, to realize the vast hopes to which our revolution had given birth, a change of political system became indispensable. How novel, how grand the spectacle! Independent States stretched over an immense territory, and known only by common difficulty, clinging to their union as the rock of their safety; deciding, by frank comparison of their relative condition, to rear on that rock, under the guidance of reason, a common government, through whose commanding protection, liberty and order, with their long train of blessings, should be safe to themselves, and the sure inheritance of their posterity....

Commencing his administration, what heart is not charmed with the recollection of the pure and wise principles announced by himself, as the basis of his political life? He best understood the in-dissoluble union between virtue and happiness, between duty and advantage, between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy, and the solid rewards of public prosperity and individual felicity. Watching with an equal and comprehensive eye over this great assemblage of communities and interests, he laid the foundations of our national policy in the unerring, immutable principles of morality, based on religion, exemplifying the pre-eminence of a free government by all the attributes which win the affections of its citizens, or command the respect of the world....

The promulgation of his fixed resolution stopped the anxious wishes of an affection-ate people from adding a third unanimous testimonial of their unabated confidence in the man so long enthroned in their hearts. When before was affection like this exhibited on earth? Turn over the records of ancient Greece ; review the annals of mighty Rome ; examine the volumes of modern Europe - you search in vain. America and her Washington only afford the dignified exemplification. 

First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen, he was second to none in the humble and endearing scenes of private life. Pious, just, humane, temperate, and sincere; uniform, dignified, and commanding, his example was as edifying to all around him as were the effects of that example lasting.To his equals he was condescending, to his inferiors kind, and to the dear object of his affections exemplarily tender. Correct throughout, vice shuddered in his presence, and virtue always felt his fostering hand. The purity of his private character gave effulgence to his public virtues.

His last scene comported with the whole tenor of his life. Although in extreme pain, not a sigh, not a groan escaped him; and with undisturbed serenity he closed his well-spent life. Such was the man America has lost! Such was the man for whom our nation mourns. "Cease, Sons of America, lamenting our separation. Go on, and confirm by your wisdom the fruits of our joint councils, joint efforts, and common dangers. Reverence religion; diffuse knowledge throughout your land; patronize the arts and sciences; let liberty and order be inseparable companions; control party spirit, the bane of free government; observe good faith to, and cultivate peace with all nations; shut up every avenue to foreign influence; contract rather than extend national connection; rely on yourselves only: be American in thought and deed. 

Thus will you give immortality to that union, which was the constant object of my terrestrial labors; thus will you preserve undisturbed to the latest posterity the felicity of a people to me most dear; and thus will you supply (if my happiness is now aught to you) the only vacancy in the round of pure bliss high Heaven bestows."....As General Henry Light-Horse Harry Lee, father of a colossus of all kinds of American history (Robert E. Lee) finished with a flourish!
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