Monday, February 20, 2006
actually George Washington's Birthday on the books) was the topic of my first. Looking back at it, I was a little prone to exaggeration, but not by too much, and my writing style needed help. I was also more a fan of Thomas Jefferson than I am now. Anyhow, here's a relevant portion (disregard the names of administrators, just know that they were student activity folks who sent far too many emails):
Flash back to a month ago, that Monday that you didn’t have class. Classes were cancelled and there were events [honoring] Martin Luther King Jr. I do not mean to reduce the general appreciation for Dr. King, but where were the e-mails from Herschel Jackson about Presidents’ Day, if not specifically Washington’s Birthday? It wasn’t even mentioned in Jan Wise’s usually meticulous Campus Calendar for the week. I’m not saying that we need another day off; I’m saying that we, as a nation, have lost sight of our origins. We celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day for his work in the Civil Rights movement, but there are still people living who remember that time and knew him personally. Not so with Thomas Jefferson. Independence Day is now more about fireworks and parties than about reverencing our liberty, and given time, MLK day could devolve into something else as well. Jefferson outlined the moral philosophy on which the new nation was to be founded. Washington became the symbol of the growth of this great nation. All else, from the accomplishments of Lincoln to Susan B. Anthony to Martin Luther King Jr., has been an expression of corollaries, which could not have existed without the earlier expressions by Jefferson and Washington. If we lose respect for our foundation it will eventually crumble. That being said, I encourage you all to take some time on Feb. 22nd to honor the man who shaped a largely untrained militia into a force for freedom, the man who refused to be King, the Father of Our Nation, George Washington.
And I think the point I was trying to make is valid. The U of M has graciously given us both Monday and Tuesday off, though under the guise of either A) "Law School Winter Break; or 2) some kind of "Mental Health Holiday". It isn't that I don't appreciate it, I do, believe me, I DO, but I think somehow we're missing the point.
In closing, and old joke(ish thing). What was the greatest thing George Washington ever did for the United States? (I will post the answer in the comments)
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