WATCH: Ronald Reagan Reminds Us Of The True Meaning Of Columbus Day
Every year – and with growing intensity – the media and radical liberal politicians seem to go out of their way to further their attack on American holidays. Whether it’s Independence Day or Thanksgiving, their attempts to cancel these hallmarks of our nation’s traditions reflect an intent to further drive a wedge between neighbors and grow the dividing lines in our society.
The real tragedy is that these holidays are meant to bring us together as one nation with a common heritage and unified optimism for the future. We’ve seldom had leaders able to tap into the national consciousness to rekindle that unifying spirit many of us so hopefully remember.
Ronald Reagan Gives Memorable Columbus Day Proclamation
Of all the holidays that the Left has attempted to cancel, Columbus Day appears high on the list. Even now, we have leaders in office who regularly use Columbus Day as an opportunity to attack the founding of this nation.
Lucky for those of us who remember and respect our history, it hasn’t been that long since we had a President that not only stood up for Columbus Day but also understood the holiday’s full meaning and historical context, using it to bring Americans together.
On October 3rd, 1988, President Ronald Reagan did just that when he signed the Columbus Day Proclamation reaffirming the third of October as a national holiday, which began under President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937.
Ronald Reagan Speaks of Real Bravery on Columbus Day
Ronald Reagan spoke of courage, and hope, and determination in his 1988 Columbus Day proclamation. Virtues that seem lost on so many in this day and age.
In the times we live in now, the word “bravery” often seems to have been watered down. The virtues of courage and sacrifice are so often flung around to describe acts that don’t live up to par that to some they have lost the depth of their meanings. Reagan understood then what true bravery was when describing Columbus’ trek to the New World.
“It’s on this day we revisit the enduring lessons of his courage and leadership,” Reagan said to the crowd which gathered in the East Room of the White House. “Columbus, of course, has always held a proud place in our history not only for his voyage of exploration but for the spirit that he exemplified.”
“He was a dreamer, a man of vision and courage,” Reagan continued, “a man of vision and courage, a man filled with hope for the future and with the determination to cast off for the unknown and sail into uncharted seas for the joy of finding whatever was there.”
“Put it all together and you might say that Columbus was the inventor of the American dream.”
The American Dream, a Dream of Millions
Certain individuals and groups of people who hold hate in their hearts for our nation regularly paint and distort the image of our country to appear as something Americans are inherently not – intolerant and hateful. While critics lob their hateful accusations, the greater truth is illustrated by the millions of people from around the globe who have risked life and limb to come to this nation for a better life. This was true a hundred years ago and remains true now.
America is not without its faults. Yet our nation remains a beacon of freedom and hope for many for a clear reason: our nation was founded on the premise of a better tomorrow.
In his 1988 proclamation, Ronald Reagan took a moment to recognize others besides just Christopher Columbus, using the moment to shine a light on the heritage and contributions of Italian immigrants in our country.
“For just as Columbus,” he said, “a son of Italy, inaugurated the age of European exploration in this hemisphere, so too, have millions of Americans of Italian descent contributed to the building of this nation of aspirations on this continent of hope.”
“Over the years, millions have left that country for these shores, often carrying scarcely more than the prayers in their hearts and the determination in their souls. And as they’ve come, they have brought with them the richness of heritage of their homeland, and given its richness and strength to our land.”
Columbus Day Is Distinctly American
Columbus Day stands apart from some other holiday’s we celebrate because it is distinctively American down to its core. It’s not about just one man. Columbus Day is about the birth and growth of a nation which continues to stand as pinnacle for prosperity for many around the globe. Our home. America.
As Ronald Reagan remarked, “Yes, Columbus Day is an American holiday, a day to celebrate not only an intrepid searcher but the dreams and opportunities that brought so many here after him and all that they and all immigrants have given to this land.”
If you enjoyed watching President Reagan’s 1988 Columbus Day proclamation, you can read his full 1986 proclamation in Senator Ted Cruz’s tweet thread below.
1/x In honor of Columbus Day, and as a proud Italian-American, I give you Reagan’s 1986 proclamation, reproduced in full.
It’s tragic that young people aren’t taught this anymore.
October 8, 1986
By the President of the United States of America: https://t.co/OGpVno2Y7P
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 11, 2021
We invite you to share this message far and wide if you’re proud of your American heritage.
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