Presidents Day 2011

As I've written before, Presidents day is to celebrate the founder of our nation as well as the savior of our country, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

Now that over 150 years have passed since the death of both men, much about them has been simplified and/or lost. George Washington's early doubts about the revolution and his identification of himself as a British Gentleman not being given his due by the empire has been replaced by a cartoonish figure of a fire breathing patriot.

Abe Lincoln is portrayed as a messianic, stoic figure, but much of his warmth, humor and humanity has been lost.

Beyond the historical truth of both men, I'm left to wonder how much of Presidents Day in this modern age is really even about them.

During MLK Day, we get television programming and at least lip service to black history as we should. But on Presidents Day, we get advertisements for used car dealerships and half off sales at department stores.

I'm not sure if there's anything wrong with this. Many still live that remember MLK's speeches whereas Washington and Lincoln are in such the distant past, that they're little more than marble statues in the minds of most Americans now.

However, I think that we should at least pause for a few minutes and remember Washington's era when America was simply an idea and Lincoln's vision of the United States having to make the right moral choice at the cost of hundreds of thousands of American lives. This should put the nation's current concern over decline of our absolute world dominance in perspective.

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