There have been many of them. Originally, this holiday was meant to commemorate and recognize our “first” — George Washington, born on February 22, 1732. It is a habit for nations to acknowledge “firsts”, as well, we do so in our personal lives. The “first step” of a toddler; the first day of class; the first kiss; the first time-X; and many more, besides.
More recently, the day has come to recognize all of our presidents, good, bad or indifferent. In modernity, it has come to be a contentious point of conflict: From whether we should celebrate the life of a slave owner, to why we should give recognition to those presidents considered as less than honorable — the spectrum of opinions on the matter remains vociferous and vibrant.
For a democracy (yes, yes, we can quibble as to the difference without a distinction in contrast to a “Constitutional Republic”), perhaps that is a healthy matter, for the raging debate and intellectual discourse is always a positive characteristic reflecting involved citizens. Regardless, let’s take the day for what it is worth, and enjoy the time remaining in each of our lives by pausing to reflect in these difficult times.
Robert R. McGill
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.