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After the debacle of children sliding down the Lincoln Memorial came much-needed rest. The long day of traveling was, in many ways, the easiest of our days in D.C. Thursday promised to be full of walking, but all those steps would be worth it.
Following our food service hotel breakfast—I’m a sucker for those hyper-yellow egg product scrambled “eggs” they serve at hotel continental breakfasts—we loaded the bus and headed for Mount Vernon, the home of our first President, George Washington.
The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association maintains and preserves Mount Vernon. The Association is the nation’s first national historic preservation organization, and the oldest active patriotic society. Founded in 1853 after the founder’s mother witnessed the poor state of the home, the Association had raised $200,000 by 1858, with which it purchased the home and two hundred acres surrounding it. Following the ructions of the American Civil War, restoration work began, and continues to this day.
It is a gift to the American people to walk the grounds where George and Martha Washington resided. There’s something appealing, too, about the home and grounds being under the auspices of a private non-profit organization, rather than the National Park Service. It’s proof that private individuals sharing a common goal can often achieve more, and do it better and more efficiently, than the government can.
It was a crisp, sunny morning when we visited Mount Vernon, and it was easily the highlight of the trip, at least for me.
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