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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Washington Memorial Tablet - Hartford, Connecticut

This memorial tablet to George Washington stands in the shadow (literally in this photo), of the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut. Washington came to Hartford a few times during the crucial years of the fight for American Independence, and then once as President.

General George Washington first passed this way in 1775 on his journey to take command of the Continental Army.

He met Comte de Rochambeau, the French ally of the fledging American revolutionaries at the Hartford home of Jeremiah Wadsworth in 1780, along with Lafayette and General Knox.  The site is now where the magnificent Wadsworth Atheneum stands. See this previous blog post on the Wadsworth Atheneum, and this one on the Rochambeau memorial in Rhode Island as a tribute to Rochambeau's valuable aide.

He returned to Hartford the following year, and made his final visit as President on a tour of the Eastern “States” in 1789. The memorial was dedicated in 1932 by the Connecticut Daughters of the Revolution “in abiding reverence”.

We have many memorials to heroes and events of the past, some magnificent structures and works of art, and some, like this, more modest tablets. It does not matter the size, or perhaps even a location of convenience. What matters is the abiding reverence.


Tony said...

So true, all it takes is a small reminder here or there for people to think more about where we were and how we got here. I love those simple roadside signs (installed in the 30's I think) still found here and there along the valley's back roads marking Indian battles and other pre-revolution events. Just a miniscule fraction of all the cazillions of dollars being tossed around would go a long way towards restoring and adding to those markers. I can't believe how much our long rich history takes a back seat to fleeting trends and passing trifles of the day.

I once worked with a guy -high school graduate, married, homeowner- who had no idea what the Cold War was! Really? The Cold War? 40+ years? Berlin Wall?...Nothing?

I wanted to rip my hair out.

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Thanks for such a thought-provoking comment, Tony. I love those roadside historical markers, too. People must hate driving behind me.

I was particularly taken with your remark, "I can't believe how much our long rich history takes a back seat to fleeting trends and passing trifles of the day."

I fear our society of self-involved shallowness will undermine us someday, perhaps already has. I don't know the solution, except to cultivate genuine sensitivity to the lives of others, including those lived the past. I would say we presently are not encouraging sensitivity towards others, only hypersensitivity about ourselves.

Your story of the guy who was ignorant of the Cold War is appalling. I knew a woman once whose boyfriend, then in his late 20s, was flicking TV channels and stumbled upon a documentary of the Nazi concentration camps. He was horrified. Partly because it showed horrifying footage.

Mainly because he knew nothing of the Holocaust. It was completely new to him, and it was only by chance that his attention was diverted from passing it by with his remote control itchy trigger finger.

Again, a man with a high school diploma, a family, a home, responsibilities that would indicate maturity.

I know what you mean about wanting to rip your hair out.

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