Wednesday, February 22nd, is George Washington's birthday. As you may recall, he did a few good things for our country: won our War For Independence, served as our first president, and set the precedent of term limits on that position. And if you haven't forgotten already, February 12th is Abraham Lincoln's birthday. He also did a few good things, such as preserving the Union, writing the Emancipation Proclamation, and producing the most memorable piece of presidential oratory--no, it was not a tweet--The Gettysburg Address.
Some of us remember when we actually celebrated these real persons' birthdays on their real dates. In our American History classes, we learned about each of them. Really. We wanted to remember what they had done for our country, (really), and had not yet turned their two birthdays into a blended shopping event, complete with TV announcers in phony colonial garb.
Do these sound like the complaints of a retro-grouch? Well, to show that I'm hip to the times, here is a modest proposal that even Congress would love: Abolish all current public holidays and create twelve or thirteen- or even more- "Famous Person Days," which we can celebrate on Mondays with super sales! Think of the money that businesses would save: they could recycle their banners, their ads, and their commercials--they would all be "Famous Person Day" sales. We could add, oh, famous baseball players, vice-presidents no one has ever heard of, NASCAR drivers, and people (or corporate "persons") who contribute obscene amounts of money to members of Congress. Just think--members of Congress could add anyone they want--just like pouring more water in the soup. No more squabbling over who deserves his or her own "day". And since there would be more Monday holidays, people would be happier, since they'd have fewer Monday mornings to gripe about!
Or, we could try to remember where we came from, who we are, and how we got here, because we surely didn't get here by doing what we're doing now.
Oh. . . . And Happy birthday, George and Abraham. And thanks.