Monday, February 21, 2011

Hats off to America's Presidents!

Remember the old holidays when Washington's birthday meant we got to eat cherry pie and were taught the importance of never telling a lie and Lincoln was honored for his honesty? We cut out silhouettes of these two great men and taped them to our classroom windows days before the actual holidays. Both birthdates meant a day off from school.  Now all the presidents' birthdays are lumped into one and the day is equated with car sales.  Some school districts don't even give the kids the day off. The letter carrier is the only one who gets the day of for sure. For the most part we wouldn't even know today is a holiday if the Boy Scouts hadn't planted a flag in the snow drift in front of our house early this morning.


I'm willing to concede it would be impractical to honor every president of this country with a holiday and there are some I question whether they deserve any recognition, but it seems we could come up with something better than a sale at the local used car lot to honor the many honorable men who have served our country since 1776.  Picnics, parades, and fireworks don't hold a lot of appeal in February. Americans have gotten out of the habit of attending speeches, maybe we could twitter a salute or two.  We could sit around and read the constitution, but I have serious doubts a majority of my fellow countrymen even own a copy.  I guess the only thing left is to go pull that frozen cherry pie out of the deepfreeze and reminisce about the time my daughter, grandson, and I visited Mount Vernon. 

In case you're wondering the first picture is of George and Martha with a niece and nephew.  They had no children of their own.  One of my grandsons is standing in front of the statue.  The second is the view from the back porch at Mount Vernon.

5 comments:

Mindi said...

I loved visiting Mount Vernon. It was a wonderful experience and I learned more about George Washington, despite having read several biographies of him over the years. I loved wondering through his home and visiting his grave and just walking through the grounds. It would be really nice to have the schools go back to teaching about the presidents around President's Day. Really, none of them ever seem to be mentioned. I have made sure to keep biographies of many great men and women in the house for my kids to read, but teaching is so focused now on passing tests that really educating our kids has fallen to the way-side (I am not blaming teachers for this).

Scotty & Emily said...

We have been talking about the civil war, and how important the role President Lincoln played. What's funny is that I lose track of day and time with homeschooling and it was Lincoln's birthday but I didn't know until the next day. :)

Kelsi Rose said...

I have noticed a marked effort to de-fanticize the American heros of the past. Instead of focusing on the great things past leaders have done, society wants them to be horrible people, or just to forget them. There are several schools that no longer teach about the American Revelution. They start at the Civil War. Sad.

LeeAnn said...

I agree with you. We celebrate President's Day for Washington and Lincoln, not for ALL. Growing up, my family lived near Washington D.C. so we went to visit Mt. Vernon and the Lincoln Memorial often (as well as the other sites.) A major high point for us was going to Williamsburg for a week with my grandparents and then taking the drive to Monticello. What treats! I hope I can do that with my children before they are grown and gone. It's a major financial and time investment to get there from the heartland of America though.

Elizabeth Morgan said...

I think presidents are awesome. They give so much time to run the country. So many people don't notice and they just criticize.