Alexandria Retired four-star general John Tilelli recalled the service and sacrifice of
“The character, courage and selfless service of George Washington is what all presidents hope to emulate.”
— Gen. John Tilelli (ret.)
George Washington as he addressed the crowd gathered for the 243rd annual meeting of the Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association.
Held Feb. 20 at The Alexandrian Hotel, the meeting serves as the traditional kick off to the city’s George Washington Birthday celebration events.
“The character, courage and selfless service of George Washington is what all presidents hope to emulate,” Tilelli said. “His legacy to this nation is our democracy and what America stands for around the world.”
Tilelli, one of only 216 people in the history of the U.S. Army to be promoted to the rank of four star general, honored the service and sacrifice of the nation’s military forces.
“Common men and women do uncommon acts of bravery all the time and we never hear about it,” Tilelli said. “They serve for this country. Some die for this country. They are our greatest resource.”
Former police chief Earl Cook was presented with the Rev. Ben Lynt Distinguished Service Award by his predecessor David Baker.
“This is quite a surprise,” said Cook in accepting the award. “Alexandria is a very special city and this is a great honor.”
Alexandria Fire Chief Robert Dube, Sheriff Dana Lawhorne and Police Chief Mike Brown, who replaced Cook in January, were recognized as Tilelli praised the city’s community of first responders.
“Those serving our city as well as our nation put life and limb on the line and don’t get much for it,” Tilelli said. “We are lucky to have a young generation that volunteers to put themselves in harm’s way to serve and protect. Let us all be grateful for the commitment of America’s sons and daughters to keep us safe.”