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Letter to the editor

Columbus Day observed not celebrated

October 18, 2012

I am writing in response to Cristin Dempsey’s piece, “Columbus Day celebration lacks enthusiasm in United States.” For many people, Columbus Day is a painful day of remembrance. Christopher Columbus’ legacy includes religious persecution, slavery and violence. Columbus Day is indeed an important day in our nation’s history, marking the exploitation of native people and resources that continued on long after Columbus’ death. Columbus came for gold, not to fight for freedoms. There are many more appropriate holidays to show patriotism and celebrate our freedoms as Americans such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Independence Day,

Memorial Day and Veterans Day, to name a few. I would have found the piece more compelling if the author explored reasons why this federal holiday is not celebrated as widely. I also think it would have more credibility if the piece reflected on Columbus’ documented actions in the Americas instead of crediting him simply as a “hero.” What sets Columbus apart? He believed the world was round. I’ll celebrate him as a navigator with the guts to try out his theory, but not a hero, an upholder of freedom or a humanitarian.

Molly Breitmün
Student, UW-River Falls