Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Memorial in Washington DC honoring George Mason

There is a little-known memorial honoring a man that made some significant contributions to the founding of America. While one of the country's founding fathers, in history, for some reason he is less well-known. His name is George Mason.

Maybe you have heard of him and know about how he helped shape a newly-established United States. Haven't heard of him? You are not alone, many people I've spoken to in the area were not familiar with him either (myself included, at least not until I moved to Virginia, where he was from). Up north we were never taught of him in public schools far as I can remember and I'd never come across any movies or TV shows about him either.

A fourth generation Virginian, Mason wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights. His writings and ideas were also integrated into the Declaration of Independence, and also served as a model for the U.S. Bill of Rights, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, and the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

According to the National Park Service, a memorial was established for Mason in 2002, stating it "honors the little known but widely felt contributions of an important founding father."
Likeness of George Mason

Mason is said to have had a falling out with several of the founding fathers because he would not sign the original Constitution. The reason? Because it was originally missing what would later become known as the Bill of Rights.

The George Mason Memorial is located near the intersection of Ohio Drive and East Basin Drive, SW. This is close to the Jefferson Memorial (kind of behind it). The memorial is open 24 hours a day and a park ranger is at the site from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily. A plaque stands at the entrance to the memorial.

The site is surrounded by pretty bushes, trees and flowers. There is a fountain in the center also. These pics were taken in April, but it also looks pretty in the summer with more plants in bloom.
The George Mason Memorial is surrounded by many florals - here are April's magnolias and forsythias (and another tree I cannot identify)

Standing in front of Mason's statue looking out towards the fountain/pool

To learn more about George Mason, his home has been preserved and is open to the public. It is located in nearby Mason Neck, Virginia. It is one of my favorite historic grand homes in the region. 

Related reading: A Visit to George Mason's Gunston Hall

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