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Words from Winterbilt

February, Love and Politics

Shannon Bohrer

(2/10) The month of February has always been one of my favorite months. I was born in February so I have many good memories from previous birthdays. My birthday aside, the month of February is also celebrated for Valentine's Day and President's Day: Valentine's Day being a day of love, or at the very least a reminder that we should think of those we love; then President's Day, a day to celebrate our presidents! Love and politics - what a month!

While we have many holidays, Valentine's Day is unique in that it is a day that most people celebrate, and the center of the celebration is love. Candy, flowers and cards with devotion of love, what's not to like about it. Valentine's Day is like your birthday and/or anniversary - you're special and the people you are close to are also special. I wonder if Congress celebrates Valentine's Day by exchanging cards with the other members? I also wonder if the political parties (why do they call them parties?) celebrate the day in different ways. I feel certain that if one party wanted to change something about Valentine's Day - the other party would object. Also, I don't believe it would matter which side either party would be on; they would just know they should object. The recent bill to include Valentine' Day in the congressional record is opposed by….

President's Day is a national holiday and celebrated altogether differently from Valentines' Day. President's Day is one of the most patriotic days of the year. Every automobile dealership flies numerous American flags, while promoting the "President's Day Sales." Every retail business uses red, white and blue colors and often likenesses of former Presidents in their advertisements for President's Day sales. Of course, all of the furniture and mattress dealers also have President's Day sales, but I don't ever remember furniture and mattresses not being on sale? It is just amazing how patriotic we Americans become during President's Day.

President's Day is one of the most patriotic days of the year. Every automobile dealership flies numerous American flags, while promoting the "President's Day Sales."

Also, it is only fitting that we celebrate President's Day in February, since President George Washington was born on February 22, and President Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12. Two of our most famous, if not our best ,Presidents were born in the same month that we honor all of our Presidents by having automobile and retail sales. Kind of brings a little tear to your eye, doesn't it?

George Washington was our first president, the General in charge of the Colonial army that defeated the British. He was reported to have said that he could not tell a lie, which means he might be unelectable today. He also stepped down from the President's office after just two terms, setting in motion a continuum of government not dependent upon one person, or party. Listening to both parties today, it is obvious that both parties agree that their party is the only party that can save the country.

It was George Washington that gave the orders that "Captive British soldiers were to be treated with humanity, regardless of how Colonial soldiers captured in battle might be treated," a message that has created conflict in today's politics. President Washington set the bar high which is why he is held in high regard and rightfully so. I wonder what he would think of the county today.

President Washington was reported to have said that he could not tell a lie, which means he might be unelectable today

President Abraham Lincoln is widely known for the civil war, freeing the slaves, and his Gettysburg address. However, many would argue that President Abraham Lincoln was the ultimate force in keeping the country together during the civil war. What would our country look like if we had not succeeded? Would we have two, three or more separate countries? On President' Day, what president from what country would we celebrate? Of course, with a few countries we could have more sales…. A story that impressed me as to Lincoln's character was that early in his life Abraham Lincoln walked miles - just to return a few pennies. The few pennies that he walked miles to return probably resulted from someone being overcharged at a President's Day sale! Honest Abe, I wonder what he would think of the Wall Street bonuses?

How one celebrates a holiday is very much dependent upon one's perspective and things such as "do I need a new car" or "do I need a new mattress" or "what can I do for my spouse to show her how much I love her." Personally, I like to think of the Presidents, especially Washington and Lincoln, as very good examples. It is a time of reflection for not just their service, but their values, what they accomplished for our country and their contribution to who we are. When you reflect upon our past presidents, it is amazing how much they influenced our lives centuries later. It is also amazing how high they set the bar….

This year Valentine's Day is on Sunday the 14th and President's Day is on Monday the 15th. A day of celebrating your love, followed by a day of thinking about our Presidents! We have had some great leaders in our country's history. The impact and influence these leaders had on our country affects us to this day. The freedoms we enjoy are a direct result of many of our former Presidents. It is also a time to be thankful that we don't have a Congresses Day. I also wonder how our recent Presidents will be remembered in the future.