President Calvin Coolidge and former President and fellow mason William H. Taft participated in the cornerstone ceremony dedicating this memorial. When first entering the memorial one is confronted by a 17 ft. tall bronze statue of Washington the Mason dedicated by President Harry S. Truman, the Past Grand Master of Missouri.
While there you can also see a replica lodge room of the one that George Washington was active in, several other lodge rooms, and many Masonic artifacts of his era. This memorial is not only a glimpse into history but an active lodge as well hosting many different Masonic rituals and activities. When visiting the massive theatre within the memorial you can see the 14 bronze base-relief plaques commemorating the United States Presidents who were fellow Freemasons.
It is impossible to visit there and not be struck by the influence that Freemasonry had on the life of Washington. He was an active in lodge from his entrance into it in 1752 until his death near the end of the century. Here is a very helpful chronology of George Washington’s Masonic Life.
The second historic site that I visited was Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington. The very first thing one is confronted when entering his estate is an entrance gate built by the Masons themselves. It is the very first object on the grounds! When one visits the multi-million dollar museum there they have a very prominent display of Washington's involvement in Freemasonry.
When visiting the shops on the ground, specifically the bookstore, I was struck by the fact that every book ever written and currently published on Washington was there. What I failed to find was Michael Novak's book on Washington. I looked for it three times. It was not there. How could it be missing? And his book is not considered to be one of the "Ten Best Books on George Washington". This is a scandal, at least it should be for all my Catholic Neo-con friends who worship at his feet.
I did find at the bookstore though an important book, signed by the author himself in fact, on the religious faith of Washington. It is written by Dr. Peter A. Lillback.
Dr. Lillback claims that Washington was a Christian and not a deist. He admits to Washington's Masonic past but makes the claim that Christianity and Freemasonry are compatible. No I'm sorry, Freemasonry has never been compatible with Christianity. One cannot be a Christian and a Freemason. It would be helpful to refer to John Salza's book below.
John Salza, a former Master Mason, has recently authored a helpful book on Freemasonry published by Our Sunday Visitor. In this book he clearly shows how Freemasonry was and is not only a dangerous ideology but a religion as well. I recommend this book to anyone interested in this topic.
Related posts are linked here - Freemasonry and America and How Charles Carroll Influenced U.S. Founding Fathers.