To Honor My Country

Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post, July 4, 2001.


A mark of the times is that we have stripped most of our patriotic holidays of their patriotism. We no longer celebrate Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays on their actual birthdays, nor Memorial Day on May 30. These commemorations have morphed into three-day weekends so that people can spend more time watching TV, shopping at the mall or making quick getaways. The shift emphasizes convenience and commercialism, eroding the role of these holidays to remind us of history and nurture patriotism. July Fourth remains an exception, at least for now.