Monday, September 30, 2013

TO: Randolph County (WV) Schools

TO: Randolph County Schools
~~~ Terry George - Superintendent
~~~ Pam Hewitt - Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum/Technology/Instruction (CTI)

~~~ Det. John J. Baeza, NYPD (Ret.)
~~~  Mark Lomax, Exec. Dir. National Tactical Officers Assn.
~~~ Sgt. Ron McCarthy, LAPD (Ret.)


As a resident and taxpayer of Randolph County, I am concerned as to whether or not the presidential farewell address of His Excellency: The Most Honorable George Washington is being taught to our students. If not, don't feel bad, it's not being taught to students in the affluent Montgomery County, Maryland --adjacent to our national capital and supposedly the finest in the state where I was enrolled prior to changing to private school-- either.

Now please, if I may, allow me to direct you to the U.S. Senate historian's page regarding that body's traditional reading of said address. There you will see that, in 1962, The Honorable Jennings Randolph of Elkins set a record for having taken his ever-loving time to verbalize those immortal words left by our National Father because of His Excellency's "solicitude for our welfare." I don't know who that hack, Paula Hawkins, was but my hunch is, is that she must've been in a hurry to get to some 5-star restaurant to meet with some corporate lobbyists over a $2500 lunch to discuss contributions for her upcoming campaign -- I don't know, only conjecture but, one thing's for sure, she obviously had no reverence for it since the historian says that she "tore through the text" in almost HALF the time Sen. Randolph took.

I am a D & E College alumnus and spent many, MANY hours in Jennings Randolph Hall when it was the library and its namesake was still in office.  If ONLY I had known then what I know now. I would have been able to embark upon my George Washington Farewell Address Revivification and Preservation Project with his assistance and oversight and, chances are, our country would a a LOT better off than it is now.

The online, interactive exhibit of the Gilbert Stuart's masterpiece Lansdowne portrait reveals it was intended to represent his delivering his farewell address to the American people which, tragically, has been all but forgotten by the vast majority of those who pose before the U.S. flag inside ornate buildings in the District of Columbia and elsewhere [**that is, if was ever taught to them to begin with**]

Now, I have no idea as to his state of mind at the time but, I am CERTAIN that Sen. Randolph would have been HORRIFIED by the fact that on 19th September 1996, there was absolutely no recognition whatsoever on the bicentennial anniversary of President Washington's immortal address by either the U.S. Government or media. The Washington Post, however, did have an article in their Home section about a replica barn then-recenly built at Mount Vernon. I later received a letter of apology from the chairman of the board.

This is especially tragic because, as The New York Times reported on its centenary commemoration, ``Dr. Thompson said that the farewell address had the moral force of an amendment to the Constitution and it should constantly be read in our public schools."

The article also reported that, ``Dr. White said that all good citizens are bound to recognize anew the debt the country owes to its founder. A thousand years will not dim the luster of the memory of George Washington."

Sadly it took less than a hundred.

In the course of writing this message, I found Sen. Randolph's obituary in The New York Times. Hence, I am compelled to share his words; ''I believe that our young people possess a great social conscience, are perplexed by the injustices which exist in the world and are anxious to rectify these ills."

With that, is my most humble request that you bring before the board at the next meeting not only the subject incorporating President Washington's Farewell Address in the general curriculum of all grades but also propose that a Jennings Randolph Memorial George Washington Farewell Address Public Speaking Contest {to see if his record can be approached, let alone broken} be initiated to promote civics and public speaking. Such would be more than appropriate since he headed the Department of Public Speaking and Journalism at D & E until his election to Congress. I can think of no better way to honor the memory of both Sen. Randolph and our National Father, can you? Of course, if any students, faculty, and/or parents want to help me with my project I could use all the help I can get because, at the moment, it is a one-man operation but SOMEONE has to stand up and honor that great man and there is no way I can back down from this effort.

Some years ago I hand-delivered to the local office of our state senator, Clark Barnes, this resolution I drafted along with extensive supporting documentation. To my astonishment and extreme disappointment, I received no response whatsoever for, as is clearly evident, much of my time and effort was expended on researching and preparing. In addition to our members of Congress, I am sharing this with some media as well as law-enforcement veterans with whom I've established contact and who are actively involved in improving our social conditions and public policy.

I will leave you with these closing remarks; when I was a child, right around the same time I learned "ABC..." and "1+1=2," I was taught about a man who was:

What about now? I'll tell you what about now; Nobody could be more relegated to the Ash-Dump of history than His Excellency has been. The Shame and Embarrassment from which I have been suffering as a U.S. Citizen since 19th September 1996 is up past my eyebrows and it has become unbearable. You know it is bad when Mount Vernon doesn't even recognize and celebrate the single most document to have come from his hand!

Thanking you in advance for your time and attention, I am

Sincere in commitment to this matter.

Wm. P. Perry

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