Columbus Day may be a federal holiday, but it seems that with every passing year it becomes less relevant. Arlington County offices, for instance, remain open on Columbus Day. Purely anecdotal evidence — the volume of rush hour traffic on I-395 — seems to suggest that Columbus Day is the least observed federal holiday, at least in terms of workers taking the day off.
The root cause of this is Columbus and his legacy: the soldiers he led to the New World enslaved, raped, slaughtered and otherwise destroyed native populations. In recent years, the reality of Columbus’ harsh treatment of natives has increasingly outweighed his accomplishments in the collective consciousness.
Still, Columbus Day could optimistically be said to be more about the discovery of America than the man himself. And it’s the lone federal holiday in an otherwise busy month of October.
Do you think Arlington Public Schools students should continue to get the day off?
Photo via Wikipedia