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Letter: Why don’t we celebrate American Heritage Day?

Why don’t we celebrate American Heritage Day?

Condolences to the Williamsville School Board. Will it toss Christopher Columbus overboard and replace him with “Indigenous Day” on the second Monday in October? Must there be a conflict between the Italian community and Native Americans?

The potential conflict above springs from the misguided, misunderstood concept of “multiculturalism,” which does not and could not exist in our country or any other. If a “culture” is defined by one’s language, norms, laws, courts, rules, values and expected common behavior, how could we deal with one another if we had many sets of the above characteristics? What constitutes American culture? What makes us Americans?

Check out the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson and other Founding Fathers identified American values (or truths) as equality, and God-given rights of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and democratic government. There is much to celebrate here! Also we may celebrate and follow the contributions and heroes of our multiethnic and religious traditions.

One does not necessarily have to be born within the confines of our country to be an American. One must, however, accept and follow the truths in our Declaration to be a true citizen and allow select newcomers to do the same.

Again, there is much to celebrate on what could be an American Heritage Day on the traditional second Monday of October. Does it not make sense to celebrate what we all have in common? All Americans would like to get in on this celebration!

Michael Toomey

Amherst

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