March 10, 2020: This Day in Maney Family History

John F. Maney under a tree at Ufculme, EnglandOn this day in 1943 my dad, John F. Maney, was inducted into the army at the age of 20 (the tree in this picture under which dad sat is outside a house in Uffculme England that was used as battalion HQ. I have a picture of that tree 40 years later when dad and I visited in June 1984). A week later he left on a train from Van Wert, OH for Camp Perry on Lake Erie. What a way to start the decade of your 20s.

2020: Remembering Dad

My dad died sixteen years ago today. It seems like he has been gone forever and while the pain of his death is no longer with me, I still miss him today as much as I did on that Monday sixteen years ago when I learned that he had died. I miss hearing his voice. I miss his sense of humor. I miss his wisdom. I miss his presence in our family. I miss playing catch with him. I miss him.

I am thankful God blessed me with a wonderful father for 50 years of my life. My dad remains my personal hero in so many ways, not least in the quality of his fatherhood and all that that entails. He handled the daunting tasks of shepherding his family, running a business, and being a community leader. He led his life with integrity and optimism, always the telltale marks of a faithful Christian. In his last years, he faced his physical infirmity with courage and dignity that was both inspiring and heartbreaking to watch. Remarkable. Simply remarkable.

Thank you for being my dad. Life’s not the same without you, papa. Never will be again. I’m glad you are enjoying your rest in the Lord and look forward to seeing you again someday, never again having to endure the emptiness of being apart from you. That’s a good thing because even this temporary separation seems like an eternity. Can’t imagine what the real thing must be like.

In the meantime, I’ll try to honor you and your legacy by how I comport myself. As mom used to remind me, I’ll do my best to remember who I am (and to Whom I belong).

I love you, papa.

February 22, 2020: Happy Birthday, Mr. President

Today is George Washington’s birthday. He would be 288 years old! To our great detriment, Americans are forgetting about our first president. This is sad, in part, because without him, there would not likely be the USA that we know today. Do yourself a favor and learn about this extraordinary man with whom God blessed this country.

To the world’s amazement, Washington had prevailed over the more numerous, better supplied, and fully trained British army, mainly because he was more flexible than his opponents. He learned that it was more important to keep his army intact and to win an occasional victory to rally public support than it was to hold American cities or defeat the British army in an open field. Over the last 200 years revolutionary leaders in every part of the world have employed this insight, but never with a result as startling as Washington’s victory over the British.

On December 23, 1783, Washington presented himself before Congress in Annapolis, Maryland, and resigned his commission. Like Cincinnatus, the hero of Classical antiquity whose conduct he most admired, Washington had the wisdom to give up power when he could have been easily become dictator. He left Annapolis and went home to Mount Vernon with the fixed intention of never again serving in public life. This one act, without precedent in modern history, made him an international hero.

In the years after the Revolutionary War, Washington devoted most of his time to rebuilding Mount Vernon, which had suffered in his absence. He experimented with new crops and fertilizers and bred some of the finest mules in the nation. He also served as president of the Potomac Company, which worked to improve the navigation of the river in order to make it easier for upstream farmers to get their produce to market.

Read it all or pick up this book and really get to know the Father of our Country.

Presidents’ Day 2020: George Washington’s Birthday

Washington’s Birthday was celebrated on February 22nd until well into the 20th Century. However, in 1968 Congress passed the Monday Holiday Law to “provide uniform annual observances of certain legal public holidays on Mondays.” By creating more 3-day weekends, Congress hoped to “bring substantial benefits to both the spiritual and economic life of the Nation.”

One of the provisions of this act changed the observance of Washington’s Birthday from February 22nd to the third Monday in February. Ironically, this guaranteed that the holiday would never be celebrated on Washington’s actual birthday, as the third Monday in February cannot fall any later than February 21.

Read it all.

Presidents’ Day 2020: Notable and Quotable (5)

I have never studied the art of paying compliments to women; but I must say that if all that has been said by orators and poets since the creation of the world in praise of women were applied to the women of America, it would not do them justice for their conduct during this war. God bless the women of America!

—Abraham Lincoln, Quotations of Abraham Lincoln