- The Washington Times
Sunday, October 11, 2020

The nation has recognized Columbus Day by official proclamation since 1934, and President Trump continued that tradition by issuing his own proclamation which praises both Christopher Columbus and Americans with Italian heritage.

But Mr. Trump has taken his statement further.

“For our beautiful Italian American communities — and Americans of every background — Columbus remains a legendary figure. Sadly, in recent years, radical activists have sought to undermine Christopher Columbus’s legacy. These extremists seek to replace discussion of his vast contributions with talk of failings, his discoveries with atrocities, and his achievements with transgressions. Rather than learn from our history, this radical ideology and its adherents seek to revise it, deprive it of any splendor, and mark it as inherently sinister,” Mr. Trump said in his official proclamation.

“They seek to squash any dissent from their orthodoxy. We must not give in to these tactics or consent to such a bleak view of our history. We must teach future generations about our storied heritage, starting with the protection of monuments to our intrepid heroes like Columbus.,” the president said.

He also noted a recent executive order that ensures that any person or group destroying or vandalizing a federal monument, memorial, or statue is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Mr. Trump also cited another executive order which created the National Garden of American Heroes to be devoted to heroic statuary, plus the just-launched 1776 Commission, which encourages educators to emphasize “the miracle of American history and honor our founding.”

Mr. Trump went a step further in his proclamation.

“In addition, last month I signed an executive order to root out the teaching of racially divisive concepts from the federal workplace, many of which are grounded in the same type of revisionist history that is trying to erase Christopher Columbus from our national heritage. Together, we must safeguard our history and stop this new wave of iconoclasm by standing against those who spread hate and division,” the president said.

“On this Columbus Day, we embrace the same optimism that led Christopher Columbus to discover the New World. We inherit that optimism, along with the legacy of American heroes who blazed the trails, settled a continent, tamed the wilderness, and built the single-greatest nation the world has ever seen.”

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