A Letter to Friends and Citizens

Washington_Farewell_Broadside

A broadside of Washington’s Farewell Address, from the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress

It came to be known as George Washington’s Farewell Address.  But it was never given as a speech. Distributed instead as a letter to the people of the United States it’s considered one of the most important documents in American history.

In his letter to “Friends and Citizens,” Washington devoted most of it to offer advice as a “parting friend” on what he believed were the greatest threats to the survival of a fledging nation. Among his subjects were foreign relations and free trade, credit and government borrowing as well as political factions and the party system. The letter is a masterpiece and, although written 218 years ago, his advice is worthy of our attention as it still governs much of our public affairs today. Just as Ronald Reagan did more recently George Washington looked ahead to the country’s future with great optimism.

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What is it About Friends?

We’ve seen the cute posters and greeting cards and we’ve all heard those all-familiar quotes about friends and friendship.  Here are a few:

– “A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.” ~ Unknown

– “I believe that friends are quiet angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.” ~ Unknown

– “No man is a failure who has friends.” ~ From the movie It’s a Wonderful Life.

And finally there’s my favorite, tongue-in-cheek definition, which says; “Friends help friends move.  Real friends help you move bodies!   (See more below photo!)

Guy Friends

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