Today is Presidents Day in the United States. On this day, we celebrate the contributions of past Presidents. What we remember most about these men stems from their character – their virtuous values.
Cherishing Virtuous Values
For example, we have the adage of George Washington, “I cannot tell a lie,” leading us to see George Washington as a man of truth and honor. We remember Abraham Lincoln for his fight for justice and peace; where “all men are created equal,” including those of color. Franklin D. Roosevelt said that “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself,” making Roosevelt a man of fortitude and courage. These men possessed virtuous values.
When you celebrate a person, you do so in a manner that remembers their best character traits. All of our past Presidents had both strong and weak character traits. Yet, it is the good that we remember and celebrate. What we hold most dear is their contributions to the greater good; the common good. We remember Washington for his strength of leadership in leading a fledgling nation; helping her to grow and stand on solid ground. Lincoln is remembered for eliminating the evil of slavery, while trying to unite a divided country at the same time. We remember Roosevelt for pulling us out of the great depression; galvanizing the country to fight tyranny, while protecting democracy.
Without God, We Can Do Nothing of Great Virtue
Although we remember the virtuous behavior that our past presidents exhibited, we can’t lose sight that they could do nothing without the grace of God. They were mere humans like the rest of us. Yet, when presented with an opportunity to rise to the occasion of service, they answered the call. With the grace of God, they did wondrous things on behalf of the common good. So today, we say Happy Presidents Day to those past Presidents still with us. And for those who have passed on to the next life we simply say, “May they rest in peace. Amen.”