I find that the national holiday of President’s Day is something that has not been well-defined. Originally it was a celebration of George Washington’s birthday. Then it was deemed appropriate that we combine George Washington’s birthday and Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. Added to that was a day to renew a commitment in 1932 to the Purple Heart Award for those injured in battle.
It wasn’t until the late 1960s that our Congress began to formally legislate that we make it into President’s Day which was finally implemented in 1971. The intent was to celebrate all the United States Presidents for their contributions and leadership in our country. Since then it has been a national holiday which has some different manifestation by different states in different ways.
I find the whole of history to be quite interesting and a bit perplexing. It appears that besides closing our federal offices, many corporations and all the retail sales, we really aren’t all that clear as to what this holiday represents. I think with all the political discord in our country that it may be a good idea to restore some sense of honoring the achievements of our Presidents.
I can’t imagine having a more difficult job than being the leader of the free world. It seems that the domestic and international crises that exist must add a great sense of responsibility and stress to this significant role. There are fires, flood, hurricanes, war aggressions, terrorism, domestic policies, pandemics, the approval of funding for infrastructure, economic decisions, law enforcement, immigration and the list goes on and on for this intense level of responsibility. The job of President is a huge task that is almost impossible to execute particularly when the political obstacles are so volatile.
Perhaps we should take this holiday a bit more seriously. Our Presidents are elected to serve our citizen’s and our country. They have to be ambassadors for democracy to the entire world. They get drawn into all kinds of international dilemmas and they need our support.
Wouldn’t it be a great day to honor them for their achievements and just take a day to say thank you for all that they do, and have done, for America?
Some of us get lost in the disagreements and the politics but those differences should not stand in the way of how we respect our leaders and acknowledge their impact on our country and our world. Maybe we could spend this holiday saying a prayer for their leadership. We can affirm the significance of their role and honor their impact. They are civil servants who have given their lives to help America become a better country. I would love to see that kind of positivity and honor be displayed on this special holiday, a day to truly celebrate our Presidents.
Gerry Vassar, President/CEO