Today is Martin Luther King Day! Of course, today really would have mattered little to him, as it isn't his birthday or anniversary or anything important to him or his life. But thanks to the Monday Holiday Law, most holidays are celebrated on the Monday after a truly important day, if it falls on a Sunday, or on the nearest Monday if it happens to fall at a different time of the week. Why do we do it? So that workers may enjoy an extended weekend several times a year. Perhaps too so that it may make the work week easier to plan if we simply get the day off at the start of the week rather than as an interruption to the flow of things on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
But have we ever considered that such a practice is immeasurably insulting to the people and the events and the causes which we celebrate? We are speaking about people who gave their lives so that we could be here today to grill or watch ballgames or what have you, causes which speak to the soul, and events so important to our history as a nation that without whose remembrance we commit a great affront to our collective memory. And what do we do?
Shove them around the calendar for our convenience.
Wow. That Dr. Martin Luther King was such a great guy, let's make his birthday a holiday. Only let's make it on the nearest Monday if January 15th inconveniently falls on a Tuesday this year, so that we can enjoy a prolonged vacation. Whatever we do, we better remember our heroes in the way which suits us best: by us taking time off to do as we please. That's what matters: our convenience.
That's simply wrong.