I remember when we used to celebrate Washington’s birthday on his birth date. Then, the holiday was moved to the third Monday of February and renamed “Presidents Day” (or President’s Day or Presidents’ Day depending on the source) recognizing two February presidential birthdays – Washington’s on the 22nd and Lincoln’s on the 12th. Now, to many people, the holiday represents recognition of all American presidents.
But not to everyone. I suspect that if you randomly polled shoppers today, you may find consumers more interested in the bargains at hand and the paid day off of work than the significance of the holiday. I confess to sharing a similar sentiment in my past. After all, this is a very different society we live in than the one in which my parents were raised. My father, whose great grandfather was named George Washington Youngblood, participated in patriotic Boy Scout troop ceremonies annually on George Washington’s birthday. A framed portrait of George Washington hung above the fireplace in my father’s boyhood home, etc – a very different mindset, indeed!
Today, however, I have reflected on the meaning of this holiday, and I appreciate the presidents of the United States of America—especially George Washington! With their strengths and weaknesses, they have served our great republic for which it stands, one nation under God, for liberty and justice for all.
Happy Presidents Day!