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Letter: Indigenous peoples deserve a special day

Gaetano Russo's 1892 sculpture of Christopher Columbus is

Gaetano Russo's 1892 sculpture of Christopher Columbus is the focus of attention in Manhattan on -- what else? -- Columbus Day. (Oct. 8, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

Another Columbus Day has passed, and there are voices raised wanting to change the holiday to Indigenous Peoples Day.

We all need to remember that the holiday was established by Congress to celebrate the joining of two worlds by human daring and scientific curiosity. We celebrate Christopher Columbus’s landing, not his birthday. It’s the event, not the man.

But indigenous peoples should be honored, and I suggest the Friday after Thanksgiving as the appropriate time. Thanksgiving is about sharing this country and its bounty. That Friday fits nicely with such a theme, as well as our debt to American Indians.

Such a tribute can perhaps reverse the commercialization of that day. Better to call it Indigenous Peoples Day than Black Friday.

John Mancini, Bellerose Village


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