As most people know, Presidents’ Day is a federal holiday to celebrate the first president of the United States, George Washington and his birthday. The holiday is actually named as Washington’s Birthday and is held on the third Monday in February. But as individual states can pick which federal holidays they will observe, many have adopted the holiday under a different name to either honor former President Lincoln’s birthday as well or to honor all presidents of our country.

A few interesting facts many people don’t know about the Presidents’ Day holiday:

  • 9 states don’t even observe this holiday.
  • 24 states call it President’s (or Presidents’) Day.
  • While this holiday is known as Washington’s Birthday by the federal government, it is known as Presidents’ (or President’s) Day, Washington’s Birthday, or Washington’s and Lincoln’s Birthdays depending on which state you live in.
  • Two states, New Mexico and Indiana, observe the holiday on a completely different day – the day after Thanksgiving and on December 24th, respectively.

So, why a call for unity on Presidents’ Day?

This federal holiday is the second most patriotic day of our country behind 4th of July, and is a day to celebrate our country’s “founding father” and to celebrate our country and what it is to be an American.

Yet, over the past several years, many people have started to either lose or misunderstand the patriotism we use to have within this country. This patriotism and pride in being an American gave us a unity that we currently have lost with political, racial, ethnic, and ideological differences. It’s created a divide that has caused tensions and fighting among our fellow citizens.

But that’s what makes America such an amazing place to call home! The differences between us is what makes America what it is, with the freedom to think different, to believe different, to be different while still being unified with other citizens simply because we are all Americans.

Unity isn’t about politics, race, religion, gender, orientation, or age. It’s about coming together for the good of everyone whether on a national or local scale. It should be, even if just for the day, a time to come together as a community and be there for each other instead of creating animosity and a greater divide. It should be a day to remember what is truly important as fellow neighbors and as Americans.

So, this Presidents’ Day, those of us at Making A Difference Foundation encourage everyone to focus on what brings us together instead of on what separates us. Whether or not you get the holiday as an extra day off work, we encourage you to help your fellow neighbor, volunteer where you are needed, provide support in whatever way you can within your community, and do things that create unity, peace, and understanding with others. Make this day mean something by helping others and making a difference even if in some small way.