Happy Birthday to Honest Abe

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Once upon a time, there was no such thing as Presidents’ Day.

Back when I was growing up in Illinois – the Land of Lincoln – February 12th, Lincoln’s birthday, was a state holiday. And we actually celebrated it on February 12th – not the nearest Monday. (Because back then, there was also no such thing as the Monday Holiday Bill).

I’m not much of a fan of Presidents’ Day (or forced Monday holidays, for that matter). Presidents’ Day has morphed into Presidents’ Month – which is nothing more than one massive selling opportunity for cars, mattresses, furniture….you name it. Its reason for being, to commemorate the birthdays of Washington (Feb. 22) and Lincoln has essentially been lost.

Monday holidays pretty much strip those days of their meaning, reducing them to nothing more than one third of a 3-day weekend. (I’m thinking especially of Memorial Day).

It’s a shame.

While Illinois has its share of – ahem – “issues,” on the flip side, it’s also got Abraham Lincoln. He wasn’t born there, but it ended up being his home – and it’s where he’s buried.

The quote below is an excerpt from a thank you letter he wrote after having been presented with the gift of a Bible. It’s a lovely sentiment. Today seemed like the perfect time to share it.

 

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