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Votes

Proclamation Celebrates Harry Lee and Robert E. Lee

WHEREAS, “Light-Horse” Harry Lee’s essential service to the Revolutionary War Army as a scout and provider of useful intelligence to Gen. Washington, leader of daring cavalry strikes and supplier of essential goods enabled our troops to remain in the field despite terrible conditions, and

WHEREAS, he served as a delegate to the Continental Congress, member of the Virginia Convention that voted narrowly to adopt our Constitution, governor of Virginia for three terms, and

WHEREAS, his immortal words about George Washington: “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen” were penned in the Lee-Fendall House, and

WHEREAS, Lee continued public service in word and deed until suffering mortal wounds in his defense of freedom of speech and of the press, and

WHEREAS, he brought his family to live in Alexandria when his son Robert was only three years old, and

WHEREAS, Robert Edward Lee was one of the world’s greatest generals whose tactics are still studied in American and European military academies, a beloved leader in war and peace, one of only two men in the recorded history of Western civilization to have been offered the top command of armies poised to fight each other, and

WHEREAS, Lee was universally admired for his humility, kindness, empathy and practice of his Christian faith in action, and

WHEREAS, when faced with a wrenching decision, he did his duty as he understood it, so although he opposed secession and slavery (having freed his few slaves before 1860 and being in the process of freeing his wife’s according to her father’s will), he took what he thought was the only honorable course: to follow his native state into a new alliance, resign his commission held for 36 years of exemplary service in the US Army, and change his citizenship, a right long recognized among nations, and

WHEREAS, after the War, as president of Washington College, Lee melded the sons of the South and North into loyal Americans, their characters elevated by living under the code of gentlemanly conduct and the honor system he instituted, and their minds enlightened by study of the liberal and practical arts in the curriculum he reorganized and improved to meet the needs of rebuilding the country, and

WHEREAS, our most hallowed final resting place for our military is at Arlington, his wife’s inheritance to which his heart turned most tenderly, and where the US Congress designated the Custis Lee Mansion, built as a memorial to George Washington, to be a memorial in his honor as an American hero, and

WHEREAS, January is the birth month of these two great Alexandrians and American patriots, Gen. “Light-Horse” Harry Lee on Jan. 29, 1756, and his son Robert Edward Lee on Jan. 19, 1807, and

WHEREAS, it is appropriate to honor their valor and admirable achievements in the service of our country,

BE IT RESOLVED, that Jan. 19-29 be declared a time for celebrating the lives and contributions of “Light-Horse” Harry Lee and his son Robert E. Lee with appropriate events.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM D. EUILLE, Mayor of the City of Alexandria, Virginia, on behalf of the Alexandria City Council, do hereby proclaim January 19-29, 2014 to be

"A Time for Celebrating the Lees’ contributions to our country"

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the City of Alexandria to be affixed this 10th day of January 2014.

William D. Euille, Mayor

On behalf of the City Council

of Alexandria, Va.