Name an iron man?
Heaven looks graciously down
Freedom still calls him
This country used to celebrate the birthday of George Washington.
Along came Mr. Lincoln and it seemed only fair to give him a day a well. At least in Illinois.
Somewhere along the line, as General Washington and Mr. Lincoln moved further away in the rear view mirror, it seemed unfair that the other President’s would be held to such a standard and the day morphed into President’s Day though there is some confusion.
There is more confusion over the day itself.
The February 11th vs. February 22nd story but not to get into that today.
Carl Sandburg wrote of The General;
“The name of an iron man goes over the world.
It takes a long time to forget an iron man.“
I have been to his home.
I have been to the top o hisf monument.
I have been to his grave.
I have been to the place where he might have been buried in the US Capitol Building.
I have seen the interesting interpretation of him by Horatio Greenough that caused much discussion in 1840 and today.
As a side note, Greenough also sculpted a group of figures for the East Front of the US Captiol.
The sculpture depicted a Danial Boone type grabbing a Native American warrior about to tomahawk chop a settler woman and her baby.
The sculpture was titled, “The Rescue” and can been seen in photographs of the Lincoln Inaugeration.
The statue was removed during the 1958 renovation of the US Capitol and never returned.
There are reports that while moving it in storage, the Smithsonian dropped it.
To return the General.
I agree with Sandburg.
It takes along time to forget an iron man.
The more I read and the more I study the man, more the myth of the man falls away.
It all seems true.
When you match up The General against the other guys who have held office, I am telling you, The General deserves his day.
To even think to compare him to other Presidents is just dumb.
The current President came to mind as I thought about The General.
Maybe it was too much to expect anyone to match up the guy who has a 555 foot monument outside your bedroom window.
To give the current President a break, I turned from The General as President and as General to Washington the boy.
I turned to the story of George Washington and the Cherry tree.
I got as far as the line, “Father I cannot tell a lie.”
‘Tis Washington’s health–fill a bumper all round,
For he is our glory and pride.
Our arms shall in battle with conquest be crown’d
Whilst virtue and he’s on our side.
‘Tis Washington’s health–loud cannons should roar,
And trumpets the truth should proclaim:
There cannot be found, search all the world o’er,
His equal in virtue and fame.
‘Tis Washington’s health–our hero to bless,
May heaven look graciously down:
Oh! Long may he live, our hearts to possess,
And freedom still call him her own.
WASHINGTON MONUMENT BY NIGHT by Carl Sandburg
The stone goes straight.
A lean swimmer dives into night sky,
Into half-moon mist.
Two trees are coal black.
This is a great white ghost between.
It is cool to look at,
Strong men, strong women, come here.
Eight years is a long time
To be fighting all the time.
The republic is a dream.
Nothing happens unless first a dream.
The wind bit hard at Valley Forge one Christmas.
Soldiers tied rags on their feet.
Red footprints wrote on the snow . . .
. . . and stone shoots into stars here
. . . into half-moon mist tonight.
Tongues wrangled dark at a man.
He buttoned his overcoat and stood alone.
In a snowstorm, red hollyberries, thoughts, he stood alone.
Women said: He is lonely
. . . fighting . . . fighting . . . eight years . . .
The name of an iron man goes over the world.
It takes a long time to forget an iron man.