Leigh Anne Tuohy for AARP: All the Presidents’ Choices

February 20th, 2012

By Leigh Anne Tuohy
February 20, 2012

Do you know who John Tyler was? What was your first thought? What about James Garfield? No, that is not the full name of the cat in the cartoon! Both of these men are past Presidents of The United States. This week we celebrate Presidents’ Day. Do you know who the twelfth president of the US was? Quick, no running through some poem or little song in your head you learned in third grade. I have no idea who he was; I’m not even going to try and lie about it. Do you know which President died one month into office? Or who the tallest President was? Do you know how many Presidents never attended college or which President was responsible for the annexation of Texas? Isn’t it amazing that this is a day that we set aside each year to honor these men, and yet we know so little about them. What did you do February 21st to celebrate Presidents’ Day?

There really are no traditions set aside for Presidents’ Day as there are for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some people get a holiday; some don’t. However, this nation has been shaped and molded by the actions of these men we refer to as Presidents. These 44 men have served this country in a way that is unimaginable to me. Most of them go into office facing insurmountable odds. They are expected to make split second life alternating decisions, bring people together in times of stress and strife, and fight for the American way. It’s really hard for me to fathom how they juggle all this, and still try to make time for their personal life. There was actually only one president who was never married. Hmmmm, wondering who he was aren’t you? It was James Buchanan. If you said, oh yeah…you did not know that! Maybe the tradition that we can start is to try and honor these men with our actions and our choices.

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