Governments and organizations have numerous ways of honoring those who have performed exceptional service.
Baseball fans have the Hall of Fame and teams also “retire” the numbers of players who made phenomenal contributions to their teams.
The military has numerous awards. And of course, the nation has established holidays to recognize its allegedly outstanding citizens.
Now, these decisions are subject to the same fallible human nature and errors of judgement that also get in the way of more routine matters.
Nevertheless, it does people good to have outstanding, though imperfect, examples they can look up to and admire. Prepare yourself for this one:
The state of Illinois now has a commemorative holiday named in the honor of former president Barack Obama.
The legislation has passed both the Illinois House and Senate, and was signed into law by the Republican governor on August 4.
“Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signed a measure Friday to make Aug. 4 ‘Barack Obama Day’ in the state, according to NBC Chicago.
The holiday will be celebrated each year on Obama’s birthday beginning in 2018.
“The day is ‘set apart to honor the 44th President of the United States of America who began his career serving the People of Illinois in both the Illinois State Senate and the United States Senate, and dedicated his life to protecting the rights of Americans and building bridges across communities.'”
Reportedly, the first attempt to establish such a day honoring Mr. Obama failed to pass the legislature.
“Rauner praised the idea behind the bill earlier this year after a previous version, which would have made the day a legal state holiday, failed. The new holiday is commemorative.
“‘It’s incredibly proud for Illinois that the president came from Illinois. I think it’s awesome, and I think we should celebrate it,’ Rauner said at the time, according to NBC Chicago.
‘I don’t think it should be a formal holiday with paid, forced time off, but I think it should be a day of acknowledgment and celebration.'”
No doubt there were some Republicans who were less than enthused by this, much the same way that Democrats balked at the idea of naming Washington’s airport “Reagan International.”
But here’s the silver lining:
The fact that this is a commemorative holiday means that it is largely symbolic with no real impact on the state, such as a legal state holiday would have had.
Hence, it gives those who were pleased with the Obama presidency and what it symbolized an official opportunity to reflect on Mr. Obama’s presidency.
…and the rest of us can thank heaven that it’s not an official take-a-day-off-from-work holiday. Because THAT would’ve been just disgusting.
Source: The Hill