It’s about the office.
We used to celebrate President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on Feb. 12 and President George Washington’s on Feb. 22.
In those days, public school let out and public offices closed for both.
Then came the idea of folding the observances into a single day — Presidents Day — and establish it for the third Monday of February, which often is between the 15th and 21st.
With Presidents Day, the purpose for it became to mean different things.
Some still honored Washington and Lincoln. Others attributed the honor to all other past presidents, while still others thought it was a tribute to the current president.
It can be any or all of those. In the United States, Americans enjoy the freedom to choose.
But, in every instance, it’s really the “office” of the president that is held in high regard.
Americans hope to see that office occupied by a countryman with high integrity. Traditionally, more is expected of the president in that regard than any other American.
But, he — only men have achieved that responsibility to date — isn’t the sole American whose integrity should be beyond reproach. The integrity of America is displayed in all its citizens.
And, likewise, the office isn’t about only one man or any of his predecessors. It about all of us.
It’s about the people of the Republic, who through a democratic election, choose one man to fill the highest office in the land. That office symbolizes the democracy.
To honor the office on Presidents Day is to show respect for the democratic form of government. Our government.