Should Columbus Day be a national holiday?

For today’s planned editorial, we needed to speak with a Minneapolis city department office. When we called, their answering service kept telling us they were busy taking other calls, but to try again in a few minutes. After no one picked up while we called them repeatedly during a five-hour period, we began to worry. Until we finally called the main city switchboard to complain about poor city service, we didn’t realize Monday was Columbus Day, which explained why City Hall was closed. If we had, we would have planned a different editorial.

Are we just plain stupid to not realize was a national holiday? Or are there many more ignorant souls out there? Probably.

If Columbus Day is so under-celebrated, why do we give such homage to it by calling it a national holiday? More citizens would benefit from recognizing Election Day as a national holiday, which many already argue should be. Beside that Columbus Day is not highly celebrated and it grants some government workers another day off that most employees do not get, there are many ethical objections to the day for paying such high honor to Christopher Columbus.

Although Columbus and others’ explorations reigned in a new civilization, their landings in this hemisphere brought the end to another. Indigenous populations that lived in the Americas at that time underwent severe turmoil to “accommodate” the new era Columbus ushered in. Although the future would bring an amount of democracy and freedom the world had not seen before, the events that took place to get us to that point are sorrowful.

Americans should consider making a different day a national holiday or declassify Columbus Day as such.