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The Energizer Blog

  • Writer's pictureEileen McDargh

Time To Reclaim What Presidents’ Day Is All About

Mount Rushmore Presidential Memorial

I write this post for my fellow citizens on this Presidents' Day. Listening to the violent rhetoric, the hate speech, and the cowardice of elected officials, I imagine Washington and Lincoln rolling their eyes in horror and grave concern.

Consider Washington’s words:


“It is far better to be alone than to be in bad company.  If the freedom of speech is taken away, then we may be led to dumb and silent, like sheep to the slaughter ...”

Think of voter restrictions, redrawn voter rolls, and draconian requirements.  We sound like sheep! 

Or consider Lincoln. His Gettysburg Address is hailed as one of the most important speeches in U.S. history. Lincoln delivered his brief 272-word address at the dedication of the Gettysburg battlefield, the site of more than 50,000 casualties. I am particularly drawn to its final words:

“With charity for all and hatred for none…”

How far have we come from that?

My challenge to myself and my colleagues is to reclaim our ability to be the nation we can be. No dictators. No kings. No tyranny.  Yes, to the rule of law. Yes, to justice for all. Yes, to call forth our better angels.

Washington and Lincoln are watching. 

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