KENIlWORTH, NJ - Presidents' Day is a day when we all are able to relax and enjoy a peaceful and quiet day with our families. The holiday is celebrated during the third Monday in February, yearly. But what is Presidents' Day? Presidents' Day was passed as a holiday in 1971 to honor our nation’s first leader George Washington. It was supposed to be a yearly remembrance and celebration of his birthday. However, this was soon forgotten and Presidents' Day came into being as a day to remember and honor all former American Presidents.
Presidents' Day is not just a day for us to relax but a day to remember our past and far we have come as a nation. Thanks to our Presidents and their wives, they led our nation throughout our troublesome past, and they have allowed us to live the lives that we live today. Whether you are a doctor, a lawyer, or a teenager, these leaders have undoubtedly shaped your life in some way.
Presidents' Day is also a tribute to George Washington who created the first military medal to be awarded to a soldier injured in combat. In 1782, George Washington signed into effect the Badge of Military Merit. This badge was only awarded three times before it fell out of use until 1932. In 1932, in accordance with George Washington’s birthday, the Purple Heart Medal was signed into effect and to be awarded to any veteran injured after April 5, 1917. To this day the Purple Heart Medal bears the image of General George Washington.
Additionally, since 1862 there is a tradition in the United States Senate that George Washington’s Farewell Address be read on his birthday. This was created as a way to bring light to the nation who was suffering due to the effects of the ongoing Civil War. This is the history of President’s Day and what it means to American citizens and our communities as a whole.