On December 23, 1783, General George Washington resigned as commander in chief of the Continental Army. His first meal as a private citizen after the American Revolution was here at London Town. Thirteen years later, Washington informed the nation that he was not going to seek a third term as President of the newly-formed United States. His actions set forth a precedent that we are a nation of laws committed to the peaceful transition of power.
What occurred Wednesday at our nation's capital was a travesty of these ideals. An unruly mob interrupting a Constitutionally-mandated function of government is exactly what Washington and his fellow Founders feared.
The history we explore here at London Town is a mix of good and ill. We have such great moments in our history that we should be proud of. Moments that are a beacon of hope and inspiration to ourselves and others.
But then we have days like Wednesday that should cause us to become more introspective and remind us that our nation is a grand experiment in democracy and self-governance that requires constant tending.
Our history shows us that we are better than this. That we can be better than this.
Our history also shows us that we have had close calls. It was not certain that the North would win the Civil War. It was not certain that we would enter World War II. It was not certain when our Constitution was created more than 200 years ago that the United States would remain a nation, much less a constitutional republic, today.
But we did win the Civil War and started the unfinished business of creating a more perfect union for all. We did enter World War II on behalf of the Allies and helped create a better world for all. And we are, for now at least, still a constitutional republic.
Those accomplishments did not occur easily. They did not occur without discussion. They did not occur without controversy.
But they did all occur because a majority of this country committed to the rule of law. They committed to our higher ideals of justice and equality. They committed to doing the hard work of ensuring that our democracy survived.
We at London Town do not know what exactly will occur next. But we do know that letting Wednesday's events occur without condemnation does not bode well for our nation.