The President’s Day, or Washington’s birthday, is one of the biggest annual celebrations in America. Set on the third Monday of February, it was initially dedicated to the recognition of George Washington, who was the first American President. Today, however, more people are referring to the holiday as the President’s Day, highlighting the fact that it honors not just George Washington, but also every person who has been the head of the United States after him.
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In the previous years, the President’s Day was widely celebrated all around the country. Not only did it give the workers some time off by creating a longer, three-day weekend, it was also viewed by many people as a time for patriotic celebrations. All over the country, small groups of people create reenactments of historical events. In some states, during the week before the President’s Day, schools are required to conduct certain historical and political lectures to address the legacy of American presidents, notably George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Nevertheless, the celebration is never as big as for the Independence Day or New Year, and most people today enjoy a day off work or school instead of organizing parades or performances.
President’s Day Then and Now
This year, however, everything is different. Ever since the new President Donald Trump came to power, people have been protesting against him. For example, the day following his inauguration was marked by an enormous feminist rally that extended to most of the U.S. cities, with people from all over the world supporting the protesters. Donald Trump’s ratings are said to be the lowest of all U.S. Presidents, and his orders have already affected the lives of many people in a negative way. Hence, the President’s Day 2017 was seen by many people as another opportunity to stand up to Trump by organizing rallies and protests. In the news and on posters, the celebration is titled ‘Not My President’s Day’, referring to a Twitter hashtag ‘NotMyPresident’, which originated after the 2016 elections as a form of an open protest. This President’s Day, people of all ages gathered in the streets not to celebrate the president, but to openly oppose him. When I went for a walk in the city center, I saw a large group of people who were keeping up posters and chanting anti-Trump slogans.
On the one hand, it was sad for me to see the people so outraged on this holiday that they forgot about its true origins, only seeing it as an opportunity for protest. However, when I saw the news in the evening, I had a different feeling about the event. The reports showed that rallies were conducted in almost every town in every state, and an enormous number of people chose to spend their free day on protesting. To me, this was also a symbol of unity among the American people. In the previous years, the celebrations of the President’s Day were quiet and relatively small. This year, however, people decided to unite on this national holiday in order to achieve a common goal.
Overall, this year’s President’s Day was different from the previous years, particularly due to many people having a negative opinion about the President. It was indeed sad to see that people used a national holiday, which was meant to be the time to revisit our democratic origins, to resist the current elected president; however, on the other hand, it also showed the unity that the American people are capable of, thus proving our supportive nature and our consideration of the country’s future.