The full name is The George Washington Masonic National Memorial and this is also the title of a pamphlet by Brother Louis Arthur Watres, Past Grand Master of Pennsylvania, and President of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association. General Washington was the only President of the United States, who, while Chief Executive, was Worshipful Master of his Lodge.
That Lodge was Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22, at Alexandria, Virginia The chair he sat on, the implements he used, the apron he wore, and many relics that are filled with interest are still carefully cherished by Alexandria-Washington Lodge. The Brethren of Alexandria, Virginia, bought and paid for a site on the Potomac River for a Memorial Temple. An interesting fact in connection with the location is that Jefferson chose it for our national capitol building but Washington vetoed the selection because he owned the surrounding land and feared that his motives might be misunderstood were this site to be selected. There met in 1910 at Alexandria, Freemasons from several Grand Jurisdictions. Sitting in the Lodge room of Alexandria-Washington Lodge the Brethren resolved that the Freemasons of the United States should erect at Alexandria a suitable memorial to Brother Washington. The assembled Brethren decided to become incorporated under the laws of the State of Virginia and Brother Thomas J. Shryock who was Grand Master of Maryland for thirty-three years was elected President, a position he occupied until his death in 1917. Brother Watres says:
We are to erect this memorial not because we can add to the renown of Washington, but because he was one of the brightest luminaries in the Masonic constellation; not because we can add to his fame by brick and mortar but because in the world s strife he stands serene as the great American whom we are all proud to hail and revere as a great Mason, neither are we to build it to add to his greatness; but because in the lofty attributes which made hum great we clearly discern the ideals of Masonry. Were our memorial as enduring as the pyramids it could not exceed our esteem for him who embodied in himself the attributes of a true Mason and a great patriot.
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