President’s Day

To the Editor:

As I look at my calender, I am quite surprised to find that yesterday was President’s day, a day honoring George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. Can you explain to me why we do not celebrate this holiday?

Last year I spent a term in Zimbabwe. Spending three months in a nation where its founding fathers have placed their own interests ahead of the people’s gave me a renewed respect for our founding leaders and great presidents. It made me realize how much more respect we should pay these leaders. In many ways, all of this wealth around us, in scholarship and freedom and health, is their responsibility.

When one considers these facts, it is ungrateful and disgraceful that Dartmouth College — as an institution and as a student body — completely ignores this day. For this reason I ask that each member of our community take a few moments some time this week to stop and look around. Notice that you live in a nation unscarred by war or famine for more than a century, where you as a student have the freedom to choose your own future and strive to reach your own goals, where you may vote for your leaders and express your opinions without fear of government interference.

It is tempting to take these freedoms and privileges for granted, but we should not. We have these benefits because our past leaders, again and again, put us ahead of their own self-interest. And so, on the day our nation supposedly celebrates Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln, I ask you to simply take a few minutes to thank these great men for all that they have given you.

Happy President’s Day.

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