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What is Presidents’ Day, and Why Do We Care?

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Logo with American flag in background and Abe Lincoln and George Washington silhouettes sitting atop of logo

For many of us, the observance of Presidents’ Day in the United States goes pretty much unnoticed. We view it as a day off from work, and a day many newspapers run special “President’s Day Sales!”

Have you ever stopped to think about this important day of recognition, and what it means?

Each year, President’s Day is celebrated on the third Monday in February. It was established in 1885 in recognition of the first President of the United State of America –  George Washington.  Presidents’ Day is now popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents.

A quick scan of the internet shows some people feel disdain about our Presidents, past and present.  I did a Google search under the keywords, “Is Presidents’ Day Important?”  Some chains in forums and chat rooms were a litany of vitriol and cynicism.  That’s too bad.

I think many of us miss the point of why this day should be significant. For me, it is less a celebration of the actual people who became US Presidents, and more the recognition of a basic freedom we hold as Americans – the right to freely choose and elect our leaders.

Whether you like or dislike a particular President’s actions and policies, we as free citizens publicly and openly choose our Presidents (and all of our elected officials).  This is a sacred right we hold as Americans – one that brave men and women in our armed forces are willing to lay down their lives to protect.

This Presidents’ Day, I’ll probably do what I usually do – attend the final day of the Miami Boat Show, inspecting private luxury yacht charter vessels to present to our clients for their 2016 vacations.  I will, however, pause for a moment, and give a nod to our Presidents for their service to our country, and of course, I’ll be wearing my American Flag pin over my heart as a reminder…

More importantly, I’ll reflect on the more than 200 years of opportunities that we as United States citizens have gathered openly, and without fear, to freely cast our ballots and elect a President to lead our nation.  We are so fortunate to live in these great United States.


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