On Monday, we celebrate the birth of President George Washington, who was born in Westmoreland County on the Northern Neck. While the third Monday of February began as an observance of Washingtonâ€™s birthday, we now use it as an occasion to commemorate the lives and legacy of all our presidents.
Some of the greatest Americans in our country's proud history have occupied the White House. They led us through times of war and peace, eras of boom and bust, and periods of tranquility and unrest. However, the one constant throughout the years has been the steady hand of leadership by the American president.
Virginia's First District produced another of our great early presidents, James Monroe. Hailing from Monroe Hall on the Northern Neck, James Monroe served first as a senator for Virginia, then as a foreign minister in Europe, Secretary of State, Secretary of War, and finally, from 1817 until 1825, our fifth president. Best known for his "Monroe Doctrine" foreign policy, Monroe's lifetime commitment and sacrifice to our nation served our country well when he assumed the highest office in the land. I proudly display his portrait painted by Rembrandt Peale in my Washington office as a reminder to always put country first.
While not one of our more quoted presidents, Monroe left us words that I believe we would be wise to consider this Presidentâ€™s Day:
"There is a price tag on human liberty. That price is the willingness to assume the responsibilities of being free men. Payment of this price is a personal matter with each of us." - James Monroe
As much as we as a nation revere our presidents, we must never lose sight that in our representative democracy WE, the governed, are the key to good government. If our government of, by, and for the People is to work effectively, we must each embrace the role we are to play in securing it by making our voices heard.
To that end, I want to lay out a few ways you can interact with me and let me know your views on important issues before Congress.
* Send me an email by clicking
* You can share your thoughts and ideas with me and see the latest news on my work representing the 1st District by visiting my
* Sign up to participate in my telephone town hall meetings
I look forward to hearing from you, and it's an honor to serve you and Virginia's First District in the People's House.