Today is Presidents’ Day, and while it’s a welcome day off for many, we should remember why this day is so important, and cherish the legacy of two of our greatest presidents whom the day honors: George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
They were very different men. Washington was a war hero who led our country through its birth, kept the American Army together through the darkest days of the revolution, and emerged as our first president. He was bold in action, but quiet and reserved when it came to public policy. Similarly, Abraham Lincoln led our nation through its second darkest hour. Unlike Washington however, Lincoln was never much of a military man, yet he was faced with the nightmare of the Civil War from the very moment his presidency began. But Lincoln possessed the gift of oratory, and a deep courage and conviction, which helped him face adversity. He persevered, found new strength, won the war, and freed the slaves.
George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were great leaders because they saw that true leadership is defined by service before self, country before compensation, people before power. They dedicated their lives to the service of others, suffered greatly for the sake of this country, and died worthy of the respect of the nation.
Enjoy this holiday, spend time with your family, but remember what has given you the freedom to do so. The freedoms and prosperity we enjoy today are owed in great part to such men.