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But why does anyone get Presidents’ Day off in the first place? The holiday’s name is bogus: You may think you’re honoring all presidents, or maybe just the three or four everyone likes, but the feds consider the third Monday in February Washington’s Birthday.
No one should say the father of our country doesn’t warrant recognition. After all, in this region, we have only the name of this city, two very tall monuments, his estate in Virginia (at my wife’s citizenship ceremony there last year, an actor dressed as the general gave one of the day’s best speeches), statues throughout the city, his visage on currency, and plaques on every other flippin’ house in Old Town to remember the guy. Alexandria’s parade to honor Washington has been canceled, and that’s sad, I guess, but I think the Washington area will manage to keep Washington’s memory alive whether we get to spend the day shopping for mattresses or not—this is a holiday traditionally observed at the mall, after all.
This is not a shot at retailers—heaven knows this past week has been torment for them. But does anyone think that if the roads are passable this weekend, shops won’t be heaving with folks who’ve been stuck inside for 10 days? Do we really need Presidents’ Day, too?