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Letters to the Editor

Holidays off

September 14, 2011

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To the editor:

The 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 got me thinking that many of America’s national holidays are irrelevant and need reorganization. In response, I propose the following:

  1. Take the day known as Memorial Day and call it Veterans Day. This would give a much-needed higher profile to an important honor that today is buried in midweek November.

  2. Take the day known as Labor Day and get rid of it. Organized labor plays a much less important and noble role today versus 100-plus years ago.

  3. Make Sept. 11, or the Friday closest to it, the new Memorial Day. Wow, the U.S. just had so many inspiring ceremonies! It’s as if we observe 9/11 as a memorial day anyway. Let’s make it official.

  4. Eliminate Columbus Day. He “discovered” nothing. Lots of people already lived in the Americas.

  5. Finally, it’s a little weird that stock markets are closed for Good Friday, a religious holiday not even observed by all Christians, let alone other religions. Let’s get a national holiday on a Friday in April with a name and relevance for all. We could still use a day between President’s Day and the new Veterans Day (see idea No. 1) to keep the same number of national days off but to make it more meaningful for all Americans.

Of course, all ethnic, social and religious groups can always go through the usual steps to hold parades and celebrations on their own. My ideas are meant to modernize and increase relevance and observation of American holidays.

Comments

Kim Murphree 2 years, 6 months ago

Keep Labor Day holiday since organized labor is the only reason we have; paid holidays, paid sick leave, minimum wage, minimum working age, proper exits, overtime pay, and any benefits at all. Before the organized labor movement in the factories, U.S. sweat lodge working conditions were the rule, not the exception, miners worked with no opportunities to retire...oh, yes, and retirement? That's an organized labor idea, too. So, let's KEEP Labor Day. Instead of Columbus Day, how about Red Cloud Day? Or Harriet Tubman Day? Or, well, you get the drift. Or we could all work 4 day weeks instead of 5 and trade them around...

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

I worked in Texas a while ago. We were given a long list of holidays from which we were free to choose a certain number of holiday days. A Latino might choose Cinco de Mayo while Africans frequently chose Juneteenth. Jews had their holidays while some just chose days and the added 4 days of vacation to make it a solid week. Everyone had a couple of common holidays. Worked for me.

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verity 2 years, 7 months ago

"Take the day known as Labor Day and get rid of it."

Another Koch plant?

That's the one holiday designated for the working class---which makes up the biggest majority in the United States---well, at least it used to. Besides, it signifies the end of summer, so the timing actually makes sense.

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voevoda 2 years, 7 months ago

Veterans' Day, November 11, originally was established to commemorate the end of World War I. and to honor soldiers who died in it. They still deserve to be honored. Labor Day honors ordinary working men and women. Our country still needs to honor them.
It's unclear to me why September 11 should be turned into a national holiday. December 7 wasn't. The stock market closes on Good Friday not because the market as a whole has chosen to celebrate a Christian holiday, but because so many staff people and traders would be taking the day off to observe the religious holiday and it's not practical to keep the market open with such a high absence rate. That's why public schools in a few cities close for the Jewish holidays. Not to show special favor, but rather because it would be too difficult to find substitutes to staff classrooms and many of the schoolchildren would be absent, too. It's a pragmatic, market-driven decision, in the best American tradition.

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verity 2 years, 7 months ago

Let's just have a holiday every six weeks or so making them distributed evenly throughout the year. Having Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and MLK's birthday all within less than two months and then none until Memorial Day is a bummer. You can celebrate whatever you like on the designated days. Me, I hate Christmas anyway and red and green is a really disturbing color combination.

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blue73harley 2 years, 7 months ago

I think Mr. Grant already has enough time on his hands and doesn't really need any additional days off.

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Kendall Simmons 2 years, 7 months ago

I laughed out loud when I read this letter.

Apparently Mr. Grant doesn't realize that 9/11 will also fade from memory after only a few generations.

I'm only 66, but I personally remember buying poppies from vets on Veterans Day. I remember when Memorial Day was called Decoration Day. (The name wasn't officially changed till 1967.) And, as a Bostonian, we also celebrate Patriots Day which commemorates the Battles of Lexington and Concord...the start of the Revolutionary War.

I also remember when Pearl Harbor Day actually meant something in this country and was commemorated.

Indeed, this December 7th will be the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. What kinds of "inspiring ceremonies" does Mr. Grant think will happen this Pearl Harbor Day? I'll bet we all could hazard a guess.

Like it or not, 9/11/2001 will also fade away in memory. It, too, will become just another lesson in a history book. Just another date to memorize.

To me?

9/11 is my beloved granddaughter's birthday. Now...if you want to create a holiday for that, I'm all in favor of it!!!

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UNIKU 2 years, 7 months ago

Dear U.S. Residents and Federal/State Govts....Please forget about fixing the failing economy and cleaning up after all the natural disasters of the past year -- let's get these holidays rearranged STAT!

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boxers_or_briefs 2 years, 7 months ago

If I was your boss James and I read your letter, you'd be on a permanent holiday right now.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 7 months ago

Interesting take on holidays. Frankly, whatever day is Veteran's Day should be a paid holiday for veerans. Most employers I have had contact with don't give a rat's ass about the contributions that veterans have made to our freedoms. The only people who get Veteran's Day off are bankers, government workers (most of whom never wore a uniform) and businesses like Vangent who do business with the government.

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Kirk Larson 2 years, 7 months ago

Let's keep Labor Day because if it weren't for the Labor Movement you wouldn't get any days off in the first place.

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