Commander-in-Chief President George Washington set the bar high.
The first president of the United States constructed a political stage that some of the greatest leaders of all time have subsequently stood on.
Congress honored him in 1880 by making his birthday, Feb. 22, a holiday, and now the third Monday of every February is set aside as a legal observance honoring him and Abraham Lincoln (born Feb. 12). Since Washington’s administration, great men have followed in his footsteps, governing the country to the best of their ability.
Whether we agree with them or not is beside the point.
As American presidents, they deserve a certain respect, which is why today is set apart.
However, like many major holidays, Presidents’ Day has become an opportunity for merchants to slash prices as winter fades and spring looms. Red, white, and blue signs plaster storefronts enticing shoppers to let the faces of many presidents slip through their fingers at the checkout lines.
In all of the commercial sales and three-day weekend hype, “we the people” tend to forget our patriotic obligation to honor the American president for better and worse. Without Washington and all other commanders-in-chief who led this nation, we would not be proud to be American.
But we are. And for this we should wish Washington a very Happy Birthday.