Washington at Prayer Statue
dedicated on Sept. 9, 1967
The George Washington at Prayer Statue, by sculptor Donald DeLue, was presented to Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge by the members of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania on Sept. 9, 1967.
“More than 20,000 Masons and their families saw the Bro. George Washington at Prayer Statue dedicated in ‘ancient Masonic custom and tradition,'” according to the November 1967 edition of The Pennsylvania Freemason. “And the 1,800 persons who attended the banquet that followed the dedication made it one of the largest banquets ever sponsored by Grand Lodge.”
The statue, which overlooks the Medal of Honor Grove, was a gift to Freedoms Foundation of more than 250,000 Masons. Two of the organization’s founders, Don Belding and Kenneth D. Wells, were Masons. At the time of the dedication, Belding was chairman of the Board of Directors and Wells was president of Freedoms Foundation.
“Buses started to arrive at Freedoms Foundation at 11 a.m. Before the activities started at 3 p.m., by actual count, 485 buses were parked in a farm near the destination site. It was estimated that 2,500 automobiles were parked in special areas adjacent to Freedoms Foundation,” The Pennsylvania Freemason reported.
The story continued:
After the unveiling, Bro. John K. Young, R.W. Deputy Grand Master, distributed corn on the statue and announced:
“This corn I distributed on the Statue as a symbol of goodness and plenty. May the blessings of a bounteous heaven be showered upon the world, inspiring the hearts of its people with Virtue — Wisdom — and Gratitude.”
Bro. Hiram P. Ball, R.W. Senior Grand Warden, poured win and announced:
“This wine I poured on the Statue as a symbol of joy and gladness. May the Supreme Architect bless and prosper our government — and may Freemasonry continue to be a bond of Friendship and Brotherly Love that shall endure through all time.”
Bro. W. Orville Kimmel, R.W. Junior Grand Warden, poured oil and announced:
“This oil I poured on the Statue as a symbol of Peace and Harmony. May the Supreme Architect of the Universe bless us with Unity — Peace — and Prosperity; preserve and protect the Fraternity of Freemasons — and make the Virtues of Freemasonry be a lesson to the world.”
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