Wor. David Bella’s Remarks at Mount Vernon

Each year, our lodge hosts a wreath laying at the tomb of our Illustrious Brother and Past Master, George Washington, on the anniversary of his death on December 14, 1799. We have led this every year, rain or shine, for 224 years. Earlier today, Wor. David Bella gave the following remarks

This is the last major event in my tenure as Worshipful Master of the Lodge. We elect my successor tonight and words cannot express how much of an honor it is to be here speaking to you today, and to have been chosen to serve this year. Washington served many organizations and held many titles in his lifetime. General of the Armies: 2 other men served and achieved that rank. President of the United States: only 44 other men have served in that position. Worshipful Master of this Lodge: 161 and I am one of them. What an honor.

As many of you know, the Lodge lays a wreath every year in February in addition to today to celebrate Washington’s birthday. February 22nd is straightforward: we celebrate the birth of the father of our nation. Today isn’t so jovial. Today is a bit more somber and I believe more nuanced. So I was asking myself why we continue to be here every year, rain or shine.

Even after 224 years, I see several reasons why we continue to make this pilgrimage. I see the reasons as being highly Masonic.

The first is our commitment and bond to each other. This is a public demonstration and reinforcement of the concept of Brotherly Love. We are here for each other, even after 224 years.

The second is our commitment to honoring the past. Community institutions are built and maintained by titans like George Wasington. Without men like Washington and the other 159 Past

Masters, our Lodge, our community, and country would not be the same without them.

The third is the ritualistic nature of doing this year after year. This is what makes our communities strong. This shared experience throughout history binds generations together and keeps current ones engaged with one another. What a strong Lodge and institution we are to be here no matter what. Just think if we decided that it was too rainy or cold one year. Does that sound like a strong institution? Picking and choosing when we want to participate? We are strong because of our traditions. This is who we are. And I hope in 224 years from now, our distant successors will be here speaking of our most beloved and distinguished Brother. I know I will do my part.