10) Washington was a role model for many, even as a youth.
9) Washington epitomized courage.
8) Washington wasn't afraid of public opinion or challenging the status quo.
7) Washington was a man of integrity and character yet just as human as the rest of us.
6) Washington was a first-class servant leader who walked what he talked.
5) Washington didn't allow personal obstacles to stop his service to God, his family and his country.
4) Washington was a devoted family man.
Here are the remaining three reasons I wish he were still alive and why I believe the model of his life is still worthy to shadow today. (These are also the reasons I cited in my New York Times best-seller "Black Belt Patriotism," which has an expanded paperback edition.)
3) Washington revered God and religion, often elevating their irreplaceable and invaluable roles in our republic. For example, in 1789, during the same time when the First Amendment was written, then-President Washington signed into law the Northwest Ordinance, which states, "Religion, Morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, Schools and the means of education shall be forever encouraged."
On Oct. 3, 1789, Washington issued the first presidential Thanksgiving proclamation to God: "a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the many signal favors of Almighty God."
A must-see at Washington's estate at Mount Vernon is his museum's exhibition display and video (set up within a mini chapel setting) of how the general of the Revolutionary War and the first president of our nation esteemed God and religion -- not exactly what you might read in textbooks or hear in classrooms today about Washington.
2) Washington led our nation with frugality and self-sacrifice. Throughout the Revolutionary War as commander in chief of the Continental Army, Washington refused to accept any pay, though he was reimbursed by Congress for expenses accrued during the war. He was reluctant even to be paid as president but was convinced by others that it would not be a good precedent for future presidents. So Congress gave Washington $25,000 a year, the largest salary in the U.S. for personal service at the time (2 percent of the national budget).
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