A Day to Remember Tarnished Heroes

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Growing up in what seems like a parallel universe, we learned to have almost a reverence for the men chosen to guide this great nation. Today we pay homage to our Presidents. The names of Washington and Lincoln were honored for being the Father of our country and ending slavery to reunite the country, respectively. Cities, streets, schools, and monuments carried the names of Jefferson, Adams, Roosevelt, and even Carter. We had two days each February to celebrate our first and sixteenth commander-in-chief, and I remember seeing paper silhouettes of these pillars of our history adorning the windows of elementary schools. Unfortunately, the memories of these men are being erased, but not today. This week’s Sunday Spotlight remembers why these men need to be a permanent fixture in our history. And why we still need President’s Day.

There has only been one man who ever walked this earth without sin and faults. Every man chosen by the people to lead our country had flaws, but most did far more good in moving our country forward. One of today’s generation’s most significant issues with our forefathers and early Presidents is slavery. The use of slaves, of any race or bloodline, was something our country took from their history in Europe. It was in the 16th century that Europe began using men and women from Africa to replace almost all other ethnicities and religious enslaved groups in Europe.

In 1834, The Abolition Act abolished slavery throughout the British Empire, including British colonies in North America. The bill emancipated enslaved people in all British colonies and appropriated nearly $100 million in today’s money to compensate enslavers for their losses. Reparations were not allocated for those freed. President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of bloody civil war. The Progressive Movement of today wants more.

History tells us of great Presidents like Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Reagan, but it also points to some who lacked the abilities needed to lead us. They do not need to be named here, but every President’s name has been memorialized, until now.

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The Heritage Foundation conducted a study that produced concerning results. Between 1986 and 2022, nearly 1,200 public schools removed the name of a past President in favor of a more generic moniker. Mind you, the number sounds large, but it is a small percentage of the 98,000 public schools in America. Any portion is too significant when looking at a movement to erase our great history.

Though flawed, the United States of America has done more for this world in our short history than any country. We have only had forty-six Presidents, and regardless of their party affiliation, they have all tried to make the country a better place for Americans. For that, they deserve our respect and celebration. They also deserve to have their stories told, not erased. On this President’s Day, I would love to see our Department of Education give a renewed push to promoting Civics in our schools. An immigrant preparing to pledge allegiance to our flag and country knows more about the civics of America than most high school students, and that needs to change.

I pray this anti-American thinking will pass or be defeated, and we can return to Americans giving thanks to God for the joy of living in the greatest experiment in history and to the men chosen to lead us along the way. Let’s unite tomorrow and give thanks to these forty-six great patriots, our Presidents.

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