President’s Day?

Monday is President’s Day. But don’t be fooled.

The day actually commemorates the birthday of George Washington, the father of our country. As commander of the Continental Army, Washington led the vastly outnumbered American colonials to victory in the Revolutionary War against the British, winning this country her independence.

Almost universally trusted and revered, Washington was instrumental in bringing about the Constitutional Convention. Indeed, it was his participation that gave the document the weight and credibility it may otherwise have lacked.

He is the only general in history to willingly relinquish power to civilian authority. His peaceful transfer of the presidency to John Adams in 1797 inaugurated one of America’s greatest democratic traditions.

In my youth, the story of George Washington and the cherry tree could be recited by virtually every child in America. Sadly, I doubt whether the story is taught to schoolchildren today.

If George Washington had been born in Hawaii, his name would have been Keoki. The tree he chopped down would have been a Noni tree. He would have been friends with our own King Kamehameha the Great. And he would have embodied and been a shining example of the aloha spirit which sets this island paradise apart from all others.

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