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IN OUR VIEW | Columbus Day: Rember the accomplishments, acknowledge the faults

October 10, 2021 at 10:01 p.m.

It's Columbus Day once again and it seems that means more controversy than celebration.

Most people don't pay much attention to the day anymore. If you work for the federal government, some but not all state governments or at one of the few businesses that mark the day you get the day off. Students get to stay home from school. The banks close. But that's about it.

Outside of cities such as New York, with large numbers of Italian-Americans who embrace the day as one to celebrate their national heritage, there are few formal observances of the holiday.

While there are some out there who think Columbus Day is still important, at least as many or more think it should be abolished.

At question is whether the country should celebrate the arrival of Christopher Columbus and his crew to these shores at all.

Every year when the holiday rolls around, Native American groups and allied scholars argue that Columbus wasn't a hero at all, but a pirate whose soul aim was to loot and plunder in the name of the Spanish crown.

And there is merit to their argument. So much so that in some cities Columbus Day has been replaced with alternative celebrations honoring the indigenous people of this land.

It's fine to honor the first inhabitants of these United States. But does that mean we should cast Christopher Columbus to the scrap heap of history? In our view, no. It's possible to recognize Columbus' accomplishments while still acknowledging his faults. Maybe he didn't "discover" America, but without his journeys to this part of the world who can say how history would have unfolded?

Print Headline: IN OUR VIEW/Columbus Day: Rember the accomplishments, acknowledge the faults


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