Family History

We had our first taste of fall this week in the northern corner of Virginia. It’s been delightful! Our overnight temperatures have been cool enough to sleep with the windows open. That’s always a welcome change from the air-conditioning that has been running non-stop since May.

This weekend we hosted family members in town from New England. We look forward to their visit each year.  We always try to think of places to show them in and around the DC area that we enjoyed seeing when we first moved to Virginia.

In past years we toured the DC monuments at night, drove to Harper’s Ferry, and visited Luray Caverns. Yesterday, we spent the morning at Arlington National Cemetery, and the afternoon at Mount Vernon, the home and final resting place of George Washington.

Visiting these two landmarks is always such an honor for us, no matter how many times we have been in the past. Mount Vernon turned out to be an educational visit for us too, since so many new features and exhibits have been added since our last tour.

Although it was a hot afternoon, there was plenty of shade along the walking paths. I particularly enjoyed strolling through the gardens, and took a few photos of the flowers before they faded for the season.

Lasting Faith

Between years of school field trips and out of town guests, I am not sure how many times I have been to Mount Vernon. But on this particular day I noticed something I have missed on other visits to George Washington’s tomb. On the wall above his sarcophagus, there is an engraving of a familiar Bible verse:

I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord,
he that believeth in me, though he were dead,
yet shall he live;
and whoever liveth and believeth
in me shall never die. – John‬ ‭11:25-26

I couldn’t find any mention of this inscription on the Mount Vernon website. It’s placement is significant though. It was probably added to the new tomb in 1831 when George and Martha Washington and their family’s remains were transferred from the original tomb. This was the chosen scripture for our first president’s final resting place, although it was not his final home.

Family visits are always a special time. We enjoy sharing stories from the past and creating new memories to relive on future gatherings. This year was even more memorable for me because a familiar Bible verse reinforced not only a lesson in history, but also a faith connection shared with our forefathers.