WASHINGTON (Feb. 19, 2016) -- Col. William D. McGarrity, U.S. Army Military District of Washington chief of staff, and Curt Viebranz, George Washington Mount Vernon president, participated in a wreath laying ceremony held at Mount Vernon, Va., in honor of the president's 284th birthday.
"I was both honored and humbled to represent the command by placing the nation's wreath, on behalf of the President of the United States, at the tomb of George Washington," said McGarrity.
McGarrity laid the wreath inside the tomb between Washington's and his wife Martha's marble sarcophagi. It was followed by a moment of silence and the reading of General Washington's "prayer for his country."
The founder of our nation was also the commander of the Continental Army, president of the Constitutional Convention and gentleman planter. Washington died in his bedchamber at Mount Vernon on Dec. 14, 1799. His last will outlined his desire to be buried at his home at Mount Vernon.
"The U.S. Army Military District of Washington represents the President of the United States in honoring our nation's first president as well as recognizing President Washington's legacy of selfless-service, perseverance and celebrates of his life both in uniform and out of uniform in the service of our nation," said McGarrity.
Following the ceremony, McGarrity and Viebranz were joined by fourth-grade students from St. Louis Catholic School in Alexandria, Va., in reciting the pledge of allegiance.
"I can't think of anything that I would rather do today, than to place this wreath in honor of the founder of our nation's 284th birthday," said McGarrity.
The Washington wreath laying ceremony was originally scheduled for Feb. 15, however, due to severe winter weather, the ceremony was rescheduled for Feb. 19.